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Fried Calamari with Coconut Chili Dipping Sauce

Photo: Michael Pisarri
From: Chef Michelle Bernstein, CENA by Michy’s, Miami. Yield: 4 servings.

as needed, oil for frying
1½ lb. calamari, tubes and bodies           
as needed, buttermilk
as needed, all-purpose flour for dredging
to taste, kosher salt
to taste, freshly ground black pepper

Coconut Chili Dipping Sauce:
3 shallots, chopped
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp. ginger
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 cup coconut milk
½ jalapeno, chopped
2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp. Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce
1 Tbsp. sugar

Puree all dipping sauce ingredients together. Sauce lasts 4 days in the refrigerator.

Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan to 350°F.

Clean whole calamari and separate the legs from body. Slice body sections into ¼” pieces. Soak calamari in buttermilk for 2 to 3 minutes, then dredge in all-purpose flour. Fry in batches for 45 seconds to 1 minute, or until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve: Toss the calamari with ¼ cup of the coconut chili sauce in a large bowl. Garnish with lime slices and serve with extra coconut chili sauce for dipping.

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