All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Garlic marinated calamari saute

An easy appetizer or side dish of calamari marinated in olive oil and garlic. It tastes great with bread and wine or beer.


Large handful (12-14) calamari
2-3 cloves garlic
2-3 sprigs thyme
1-2 red chili pepper (slices)
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
Olive oil (enough to almost cover calamari, not in photo)


Clean and cut calamari into 2 cm wide tubes. If using small calamari, use tentacles as is.
Thinly slice garlic.


In a container, place calamari, garlic, thyme (leaves only), red chili pepper and salt, and pour olive oil to almost cover calamari. Mix well, and refrigerate until use.

Mix well, and refrigerate until use.


Heat a frying pan, and saute calamari on medium high heat. After refrigeration, olive oil will have solidified -- don't worry, it will melt quickly.

If there is lots of oil in the frying pan, discard it, and continue cooking until calamari surface is brown and crispy.

Taste, and add salt if necessary.

Serve with lemon wedges (optional).

  • Marinated calamari keeps several days in the fridge. I put enough olive oil to completely cover calamari when keeping it more than three days. The quality and taste of uncooked calamari deteriorates rather quickly, and this is a good way to preserve it when you have extra. Good quality previously frozen calamari (just thawed) works well, too.
  • Discarding extra oil while sauteing ensures a crispy outcome. 
  • This also tastes good with pasta. Saute calamari while cooking pasta; when calamari is done, add 1-2 tbsp pasta cooking water (salted), shake the frying pan to emulsify the liquid, salt and pepper as necessary, add pasta (cooked 1 minute less than the package indicates), and toss well. Yummy! 

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