Paleo Fried Calamari

Calamari is cheap, cheap, cheap. I paid $5/lb for wild caught. I know calamari can lend itself to more versatile recipes than just deep frying–but it’s just so goooood, I couldn’t help myself. There are no messy dredging stations and “club hand” simply does not exist.


For the Sauce

  • 6 oz (roughly 1) roasted red peppers
  • couple leaves of basil
  • 2 T olive oil
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt


In a medium sized bowl, mix together the potato starch and a few dashes of salt. In a sauce pot, melt the palm shortening over medium to medium-high heat. The smaller the sauce pot the higher the oil level will be, but the smaller the batches will be, so choose accordingly. Line a pan with a few layers of paper towels and set next to the oil. Blend the ingredients for the sauce together in a blender or small food processor.

While the oil is heating up, make double sure your calamari tubes are cleaned by sticking your fingers inside and checking to see nothing gelatinous is inside. This would be a great task for a little boy, huh? If there is, pull it out and throw it away. Slice the tubes into rings. Leave the tentacle whole.

Working in batches, lightly dredge the rings in the starch and toss them into the oil. Don’t over crowd or they’re all stick together. You want to hear the sizzle and see bubbles. If you don’t, the oil isn’t hot enough. Using a spider or slotted spoon, swirl around the calamari every few seconds until they’re crispy. You’re NOT looking for brown-ness. Browned potato starch tastes burned. Test one or two out if you need to, before pulling the whole lot out. Place on the lined pan and sprinkle with salt.

11 thoughts on “Paleo Fried Calamari

  1. Liz N Reply

    I {heart} this recipe! SERIOUSLY?! Eva will be my do my QC on the cleanliness of the rings…the perfect job for a 5 year old! I had to LOL at the ‘club hand’…I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. Hee hee! Between the fish sticks and calamari, it sounds like a seafood night is coming up at our house! Got a Paleo-ish recipe for tartar sauce?!

  2. Jon Reply

    in which regime are potatos consistent with paleo? I have been avoiding all white potato, including potato starch. Is there a sweet potato starch?

      • Jon Reply

        thanks. really useful and interesting. Given the choice, I would prefer to rely on low carb/glucose options but good to know PS is not inconsistent with the approach. I’d rather, be Elrond, however. :)

  3. brandon keatley Reply

    most of them except cordain’s version…or if you are after a paleo-reenactment…which we are not.

    starchy tubers were likely a staple in the stone age and the are eaten by healthy isolated non-industrialized people to this day. most of our modern food is a product of domestication and simply approximates these things. that is to say…not much is exactly the way it was 10,000 or even 1,000 years ago – if anything.

    if you’re low carbing…by all means keep that in mind. but we don’t believe that starch (glucose) is inherently bad.

  4. AustinGirl Reply

    Just made these. They ROCKED!!! Thanks for the great recipes, y’all!

  5. Jenn Reply

    Can you recommend a good alternative to potato starch for these? I’m stationed overseas and haven’t seen it around. Curious if you’ve tried any other coatings, since it’s been a little while since your original post. Thanks!

  6. Alice Reply

    Can almond flour/coconut flour/corn starch/buckwheat flour be used instead?

    What would happen if no flour or starch is used?


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