As summer time rolls around, I’m sure every single time you go to the beach, you have your eyes on one thing:
I’m not sure what it’s about, because this never seems to happen during the winter.
But as soon as the weather turns to anything above 80°, you can bet anything that I’ll be front of the line at your local clam shack.
By the lake, by the beach, anywhere.
Even at restaurants, I tend to eye the fried appetizers more and more as the summertime rolls around.
Particularly the fried calamari rings.
Back in the day, fried calamari, or calamari fritti as the Italians call it, was the only appetizer my picky younger brother would eat.
Which is awfully funny, because what little kid likes to eat fried squid?
That’s how you know this delicious seafood dish is worth the hype.
If you haven’t gotten the chance to try fried calamari yet, I highly recommend it. It’s this salty, delicious preparation of a delectable kind of seafood, and is almost always a hit at the dinner table.
The problem (well, happy problem) is, that most of the time, appetizer servings of calamari come in massive quantities.
I mean the portions at these places are just massive.
I can barely finish my meal at seafood restaurants and beachside clam shacks, let alone my fried calamari appetizer.
Oftentimes, I end up taking the dish right home and immediately putting it inside of an airtight container or wrapping the whole box with some plastic wrap to indulge in the next day.
And I don’t know about you, but I find it really difficult to reheat fried food and have it taste just as delicious as it did when I originally ordered it.
Lucky for you, I’ve spent years trying to perfect the best methods of reheating fried calamari.
And I think I’ve finally figured it out.
Here are my ten favorite ways to reheat fried calamari. That’s right, you’re not limited to just using your microwave!
The oven method is one of my favorite ways to reheat fried squid rings.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
While the oven is heating up, place the calamari on a foil lined baking sheet, and toss with coarse salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper.
When the oven is heated to 350°, bake for 10-12 minutes, giving the pan a thorough shake halfway through the cooking time.
Top with more salt and pepper before serving. Garnish with lemon wedges if you’d like!
Growing up, this is always how my mother would reheat all of our leftover fresh calamari.
She would place the calamari in a foil lined pan, put it inside of the toaster oven, and bake it for about 10-12 minutes on its medium toast setting.
Of course, every toaster oven will be different. You may even want to preheat it to 350° and bake it using that method. My general rule of thumb: if you can hear it sizzling against the foil, it’s ready!
Though this is my least favorite method, sometimes you’re in a pinch, and all you have is a microwave (think last day of your beach vacation in a hotel).
Place calamari on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute at a time until heated through.
I’ll be honest, this isn’t going to be the best method. It won’t be crispy like it originally was when you first ordered it.
But the damp paper towel and moisture in the microwave will help the fried squid to keep most of its integrity intact. Plus, nothing can’t be fixed with a bit of tartar sauce.
Or marinara sauce, to really tie all of the flavors in together.
Out of all of the methods I’ve listed here, this takes the prize as my absolute favorite.
If you have an air fryer, you just know.
It’s the best.
It makes everything all crispy and perfect, without the necessity of adding any extra ingredients.
Honestly, whenever I use the air fryer to reheat my leftover fried calamari, I find that it often tastes better eating it the second time.
That’s because this is the perfect way to get extra crispy calamari.
Place calamari in an air fryer basket and cook at 375 degrees F for 5-7 minutes.
It’s super important to make sure that the pieces of calamari have some breathing room next to them, and that everything is on a single layer.
If you overcrowd your air fryer basket, your calamari will steam and turn out soggy, and not be as crispy as you’d like it to be.
After your air fryer calamari is done cooking, toss the pieces in some salt and pepper, and you’ll be ready to go!
If you’d like a more in depth look at the best way to use this air fryer recipe, take a look at this article!
If you’re really trying to be fancy, this method could be a great option.
I’ve actually been seeing a lot of people on TikTok using this method lately.
It seems to come out great every time.
The only thing I’d really recommend is using an oil with a high smoke point.
And olive oil isn’t one of them.
Truth be told, I ruined one of my pans last week and almost had to evacuate my building by setting off the fire alarm because I forgot about this rule.
Had I just used canola oil at first, I would’ve saved myself.
Heat a bit of oil (like, a really small amount) in a skillet over medium-high heat. If you’d like, toss a garlic clove in there too. The taste of the garlic will flavor your oil really nicely.
Add calamari, and cook for 3-5 minutes.
As your calamari is cooking in the pan, garnish it with some extra salt and pepper.
For best results, take it out, and put the cooked calamari on a paper towel lined dish to soak off all of the extra oil.
It’ll taste delicious!
Something that you may have never thought about doing before is reheating your fried calamari on the grill.
While unconventional, this can be a great way to reheat some of your leftover calamari.
I know, I know.
“The pieces are too small! They’ll fall through!”
As stated before, just make sure you’re keeping the calamari in a single layer when using this method.
It’ll keep the texture of the calamari nice and crispy and perfect.
You can even use multiple foil packets of calamari if you’d like.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
When ready, place calamari on the grill, and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Season them with some kosher salt and pepper at the end, and it’ll all taste great!
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A lot of you may not have a deep fryer on hand.
But a lot of you may!
And if you do, this is the next best method of reheating fried calamari, after the air fryer calamari recipe of course.
The deep fryer is most likely where your fried calamari originally came from.
By using the same cooking method to reheat your calamari pieces, the integrity of the squid will be perfectly kept, and it’ll all taste just as good as new.
Reheat calamari in a deep fryer at 350° for 2-3 minutes, or until the calamari pieces float to the top.
Remove with a slotted spoon, and place immediately on a paper towel lined dish or wire rack for a couple of minutes.
As always, season the calamari, and serve with some lemon juice and extra tartar sauce if you’d like.
If you’re one of those fancy people that has a steamer, this could work too. It’s personally not my favorite way to reheat fried calamari—like the microwave, it tends to make everything less crispy.
And no one really likes soggy calamari.
But even still, sometimes you might be in a situation where the steamer is all you have. Which case, it’s perfectly fine to reheat your fried calamari using this method.
Place your fried calamari in a steamer basket, and cook for 3-5 minutes.
Season with some extra salt and pepper, and serve with some dipping sauce on the side.
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I’m honestly not sure why anyone would try this.
I’m being serious.
The above methods are all so much better than this.
But even still, this just might be a bit better than using the microwave.
And when all else fails, at least this one might be a bit of a fun science experiment.
Sous vide the calamari in a vacuum-sealed bag at 120 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.
Once done, season with extra salt and pepper.
And if you use this method, please let me know so I can try it.
Because I’ll be honest, I’ve only ever watched people use this method of reheating fried calamari on Youtube. But if it’s worth anything, I’ll try it.