Welcome to The Cherry Tomato! On this blog I share simple and tasty recipes, hacks to make your life much easier in the kitchen and tidbits to help you maintain your kitchenware...... So, have a look around the site and have fun cooking!!!

Cajun Calamari

My mum calls calamari baby octopuses and squirms when she sees them. I think it's cute, she thinks I'm gross. I don't care I still love it!!

I had a craving (as I always do) for a seafood platter from Ocean Basket, in particular the calamari and I had the intention of going to the restaurant but home was just calling out to me so I decided to get some fresh seafood from the fishmongers and attempt to make the food myself.



I am always challenged by how to tenderise the calamari. I remember the last time I made it and attempted to make crispy calamari, I ended up with chewy rubber bands....it was upsetting. So I trawled the internet(s) to look for a way to tenderise calamari. Most recipes use milk. I tried it the last time I made calamari but wasn't happy with the result. This time though I used natural yoghurt and voila!!! The calamari turned out to be super tender. For all you seafood lovers, trust me, it works like a charm. I then made my own version of cajun spice for the calamari and had it with a simple rocket salad


Serves 2

  • 500 grams calamari (cleaned and separated)

  • 2 tbs cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes

  • 1/4 tsp tumeric

  • 1/4 tsp pimento

  • 1 tbs fresh thyme

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed

  • Salt to taste

  • 500ml natural yoghurt

Put your cleaned calamari into a bowl with the natural yoghurt, cover with cling film and put it in the fridge for about an hour and a half to tenderise.

After the hour an half, take out the calamari and rinse it with water to wash off the yoghurt. Use paper towels to completely dry out the calamari. In a separate bowl, pour in all your spices and salt and mix well, then add your calamari and mix well. Let it sit for about 10 minutes as you prep your pan and oil. I used canola oil as its quite light and not as greasy as vegetable oil.


Drizzle oil on the bottom of your pan or wok and spread evenly. Put the pan on high heat and when the pan begins to smoke, add your calamari a little at a time so the temperature in the pan doesn't reduce too much. The trick to the crispy finish is to use high heat and not too much oil. Cook the calamari for about 3 minutes, or until crispy.

Serve with your choice of sides.

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