Sardine Factory Famous Calamari Puffs Appetizer

  • Yield : 4 servings (5 per person)
  • Prep Time : 25m
  • Cook Time : 5m
  • Ready In : 30m
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  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 1/4 pounds squid, cleaned tubes only
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons superfine cracker meal
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Chili Lime Salsa, recipe follows
  • 1 1/4 cups chili sauce
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup horseradish cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash hot pepper sauce (recommended: Louisiana Gold)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


Step 1

Heat at least 4 inches of oil in a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven or a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F. (Oil should not come more than halfway up the sides of the pan.) 

Step 2

Chop the squid fillets into small pieces and place in a medium bowl. Add the chopped onion, scallions, cheese, egg, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Add bread crumbs into the mixture and form into 1 1/2-ounce balls. Dredge the balls in the cracker meal and lay on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan to firm. Carefully drop squid balls into the fryer and fry until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Arrange them on a platter with lemon wedges and serve with the chili lime salsa on the side.

Step 3

In a large bowl, mix chili sauce and ketchup together until well blended. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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