How to Cook Calamari Steak

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  June 24, 2021

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If you are a big seafood lover, you probably know what calamari is, but if you don’t, no need to worry. It’s not as complicated as the name sounds.

The word “calamari” is derived from the Italian word for squid and is mainly used to refer to a deep-fried squid appetizer.

However, it is also used as a word to squid. Now that you know what calamari is, you might be curious about how to cook calamari steak.


If so, you are in the right place. We will provide you with the best recipe for calamari steak that you can enjoy at family dinners and fancy parties, or you can just treat yourself with it when you feel like having something nice.

In the United States, squids are usually served in the form of an appetizer, but some cook it as a main course as well. Calamari is also popular across Asia. In China, Japan, Thailand, and Taiwan, you will find squid cooked in many forms like stir-fried or grilled as a whole.

They also serve it with noodles and fries. In Korea, squid is usually deep-fried, and in Spain and Italy, they serve it in pasta, soups, risotto, and paella.
There are many ways to cook calamari. You just have to find the appropriate recipe that will suit your taste.

What Is Calamari

Calamari is a dish of battered, fried squids made of either a full squid or parts of it. The word is said to come from “calamarium,” which is a Medieval Latin word derived from “calamus,” which means reed pen. This term points to the squid releasing black ink when it senses danger.

Calamari is also the market name for fresh squid, which is only given to it to increase its market value or to make it sound fancy so that it would fetch a higher price tag. There are almost 300 species of squids in the ocean, but you will only see a few of them being used in cooking. Squids are available in many different sizes, from 1 inch to 80 feet. The squids that are used in cooking regularly have a maximum size of 12 inches.

What Is Calamari Made Of

Calamari is made of part of a squid or a whole squid battered and deep-fried. Squids are known to be rich in nutrients, so people eat them in all forms as a healthy diet. The squids used in calamari are less than 12 inches in size and can be chopped and prepared in any way.

The most famous dish is the ring calamari that is made out of the body of the squid and served fried, or even as a smoked appetizer. You can also cut it in strips along with the tentacles and deep fry and garnish it. You’re your preferred spices.

Where to Buy Calamari

You can order cooked calamari from restaurants as an appetizer or main course, or you can get the seafood directly and cook it yourself at home. Cooking calamari is not hard, and you can easily get the item from many grocery stores in your area.

Calamari is usually available in either raw form or frozen. You can also ask the person at the counter to clean the squid for you if you don’t want to get into that mess yourself. If the local store doesn’t carry squids, you can always go to a nearby fish market.

What Is Calamari Steak

Calamari squid steak is a versatile, healthy, and nutritious dish that is served in many restaurants. The demand for this exquisite meal is increasing day by day because of its unique taste. Even though the steaks are about a quarter-inch thick, the meat is still tender and slightly chewy.


The steak is cooked in many forms, and the taste varies depending on how you cook it. The most common ways to prepare this delicious food is Japanese style, grilled or sautéed, cut into strips, and served with salads.

How to Cook Calamari Steak

Calamari steak is the flattened body of a squid cooked with excellent ingredients. Squids are known to be rich in protein, so a calamari steak is one of the healthiest meals you could ever have. If you are cooking a fresh calamari steak, you can cook it hot and fast or with a slow and low heat.


While having fresh calamari is always the best option, frozen calamari steaks are also available. The great thing is that they cook in a flash. Just defrost the frozen steak the night before you intend to cook it. Marinate it in a bowl and add salt, pepper, lemon juice, parsley, and olive oil. Then, put it in a hot frying pan and make sure you don’t overcook the steak or else it will turn rubbery.

Calamari Steak Recipe

There are three ways to cook a calamari steak: grilling, frying, or baking.

Grilled Calamari Steaks Spicy


Serving: 4 | Prep Times: 1 hr 10 mins | Cook Time: 5 mins | Total Times: 1 hr 15 mins


  • Calamari steaks – 4 (5 oz each)
  • Melted butter – 3 tbsp
  • Paprika – 2 tbsp
  • Cayenne – 2 tbsp
  • Pepper – 1 tbsp
  • Ground cumin –1 tbsp
  • Minced Garlic – 2 tsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Lemon juice – ¼ tsp


  1. First, chop off the tentacles of the squid and slice open the body.
  2. After slicing it open, you need to make holes in the body, but be careful not to pierce it all the way through.
  3. Now, to marinate it, place all the ingredients in a bowl and let it sit for an hour.
  4. After marinating, heat the grill and place the marinated squid in it.
  5. When it starts changing its color, change the side, and don’t let it get overcooked.
  6. Serve the grilled calamari with BBQ sauce.

Baked Calamari Steaks

Serving: 4 | Prep Times: 30 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins | Total Times: 50 mins


  • Calamari steaks (strips) – 4 sliced
  • Breadcrumbs – 1 ½ cup
  • Regular flour – 1 cup
  • Egg beaten – 1 large
  • Salt – 2 tbsp
  • Pepper – 2 tbsp


  1. Preheat the oven to 390 °F.
  2. Rinse the calamari steaks in cold water and dry them properly.
  3. Mix the salt, pepper, and flour in a bowl. Dip the strips into the flour and then in the beaten egg and cover them with breadcrumbs, forming a coat around them.
  4. Put a baking sheet in a baking container and put the coated steaks on the sheet.
  5. Let them cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until the steak starts turning golden brown.
  6. Serve it with either tartar sauce or marinara sauce.

Fried Calamari Steak


Serving: 4 | Prep Times: 20 mins | Cook Time: 5 mins | Total Times: 25 mins


  • Calamari steaks – 4 large
  • Buttermilk – 8 cups (1/2 gallons)
  • Extra virgin olive oil – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Eggs – 3 large
  • Salt – 2 tbsp
  • Breadcrumbs – 3 cups
  • Pepper – 2 tbsp
  • Lemon – 1 fresh
  • Parmesan cheese – freshly grated


  1. You can use either frozen calamari or fresh ones.
  2. Start the process by soaking calamari in the buttermilk for 12-24 hours (no more than that).
  3. Bang the eggs in a bowl and mix salt and pepper in them.
  4. Take a skillet and heat olive oil on medium heat.
  5. Take the soaked calamari and dip it in the egg and breadcrumbs before putting it in the skillet.
  6. Cook each side for no more than 2 minutes. It can take more time depending on the thickness. Just remember that the changing color is your cue.
  7. Serve it with marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese.

How Long Does Squid Take to Cook?

It’s not about how long it takes for a squid to cook but more about how a squid should be cooked. You can cook the squid on either hot and fast or low and slow speed. Anything in between will ruin the squid, and the meat will become tough.

The meat needs to be soft and tender. It should be springy but non-chewy, so make sure you get that perfect taste.

What Does Calamari Steak Taste Like?

The meat of the calamari is usually white in color with a firm texture. The taste is a mild, almost nutty flavor. The flavor of calamari is quite unique and is a little hard to explain. The taste changes depending on how you cook it.

If you grill the calamari, the meat is tender, and the flavor is a mixture of all the ingredients you marinated it in.

The deep-fried version is crunchier than usual, and the taste gets affected by the kind of dip you eat it with.

How Should I Fry Calamari?

Frying it is the quickest way to cook it. Either cut the squid in the form of rings or cook it whole. Season with salt and pepper and fry it in a little bit of oil. Cook it on the highest heat for 2 to 3 minutes, and you are done. Serve it with rice or pasta or eat it with any simple salad.

How Long Should I Cook Calamari?

Squid and calamari belong to the same family, so the cooking duration is almost the same. Calamari needs to be cooked for a very short time or a very long time depending on the heat. On maximum heat, cook it for 2 minutes on both sides.

The calamari should neither be undercooked nor overcooked or else it will ruin the taste. When the calamari turns golden brown, take it off the stove.

Final Thoughts

There are many ways to cook calamari steak. You can follow the recipes above or be artistic and form your own recipe by utilizing the ingredients already available at your home. Happy cooking!

Related: How to Cook Steak on Pellet Grill

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.