The Matahari Rhymes with Calamari

May 1, 2009


Matahari means sun, in Malay.

The beautiful weather affects my mood is a very positive manner. Like my growing pots of herbs, vegetables and tomatoes, I felt like reaching my arms high for the sky. So, I am celebrating the return of summer with a calamari dish marinated with a coat of paprika seasoning, sauteed with some good olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon to finish. I name it Matahari Calamari. I have never made this dish before, I only followed what I felt like eating, so began another kitchen experiment…

The recipe for this Matahari Calamari is very simple. The star ingredient is the squid, so get the freshest you possibly can.

1lb of fresh squid, cleaned
1 teaspoon of paprika powder
1 clove of garlic, minced finely into paste
a pinch of flour
1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano
a few scrapes of lemon zest
a pinch of dried chili flakes
salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
a handful of yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
fresh lemons wedges

1. Slice the squid into 1/2 inch thick rings.
2. Add the garlic, paprika powder, pinch of flour, oregano, dried chili flakes, lemon zest, salt and pepper into the squid rings and mix to combine. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
3. Heat the pan until very hot and add the tomatoes. Saute for a few minutes before adding the marinated squid. You want to have small brown bits crisping up along the sides of the squid when it is cooked so keep sauteing and tossing until the squid is cooked through and the tentacles curled with crispy bits.

I don’t like overcooking my squids. When cooking with squid there is a point where the squid becomes toughen and only more cooking time will soften them again, so it’s best to not overcook. I like to cook my squid for no more than 5 minutes, so that they are soft and chewy but not rubber ducky chewy.

4. Serve with a generous dousing of lemon juice.


The Matahari Calamari is so yummy with the lemon juice, you feel like you’re sitting under the sun eating this delicious squid you could swear that you could taste the sea breeze in your mouth. But that’s what buying extremely fresh seafood does to anyone 😉


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
May 3, 2009 @ 1:25 am

Rubber ducky chewy. ha. I know exactly what you mean. I cooked them briefly too. I will try your recipe. I have some squid and I hate to deep fry it all the time. I still have not done the long cook method. Maybe I will get brave soemtime and try it.

May 3, 2009 @ 2:28 am

Yea, I know what you mean about deep-frying them. It’s like it’s all we do with squid but they can be so much more. I like them stuffed too, I cook them longer then, in a stew-like way.

May 3, 2009 @ 5:56 am

This dish looks amazing. I never cook calamari because I have no clue how to clean them. I’ll have to give it a try sometime.

May 3, 2009 @ 5:21 pm

Actually, I didn’t have to clean mine. I bought it already cleaned from the fish shop. But it’s quite easy to clean squid if you’re not squeamish. You need to take away thin purple skin on the body, extract the plastic back bone of the squid with your hands and gauge every innards out and then cut off the eyes of the squid as well as squeeze it’s beak from its mouth out. There is a black ink sac that’s attached to the tentacles, the guts, just cut that off and throw away or you can reserve the black ink for an interesting black pasta recipe 😉

Kent Gerber
September 2, 2011 @ 8:16 am

We caught some fresh squid in Aruba and Elaine was there and she cooked it up for us and it was the best! She really knows how to cook. Shes a very great snorkler also. Kent


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *