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How to Tenderize Calamari

Updated February 21, 2017

Calamari, a delicacy of cooked squid, is a staple in many Greek, Italian and Mediterranean dishes. Calamari is light, tasty and inexpensive, making it an ideal seafood dish for any budget-conscious family. The process of tenderising calamari is easy.

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  1. Pour 1 cup of whole milk and marinate the calamari overnight in the refrigerator (1 cup of milk per pound). The lactic acid will begin the tenderising process.

  2. Soak the calamari in lemon juice for approximately five minutes before cooking.

  3. Gently pound the calamari with a tenderising hammer or mallet just before cooking. This works for any type of preparation, whether pan searing, broiling or frying.

  4. Cook the calamari according to your recipe, being careful to take the squid off the heat source when it turns white.

  5. Warning

    Do not overcook or overheat the calamari, as the temperature will affect its tenderness. Medium or medium-low heat works best.

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Things You'll Need

  • calamari
  • cooking utensils
  • milk
  • wooden mallet
  • lemon juice


About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.

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