Pepper and Lime Calamari with a Harissa Mayonnaise

Is there anything as moreish as light and crispy calamari?

Calamari harissa mayonnaise recipe wish to dishCalamari harissa mayonnaise recipe wish to dish (4)

No, no there is not! Calamari is the eternally delightful morsel that you order as a “quick bite”, end up devouring and then have to ask for another plate of it as you just cannot get enough – or is that just me…?

The eating of calamari should not be restricted to gastro-pubs and the seaside however as it it surprisingly easy to recreate at home plus it tastes infinitely fresher and more delicious straight out of the pan. Serve it as a starter at your next dinner part, a canape at Christmas time or just whip it up next time you are peckish – the possibilities are endless and trust me once you try it once you will be making it again soon.

Squid can be purchased from most supermarket counters and fishmongers – ask for the squid to be cleaned and prepared to save you the hassle of it at home unless you fancy the challenge.

Calamari harissa mayonnaise recipe wish to dish (7)Calamari harissa mayonnaise recipe wish to dish (8)Calamari harissa mayonnaise recipe wish to dish (6)

Serves 4 as a starter 

Prep time – 15 minutes 

Cooking time – 14 minutes 


  • 4 squid tubes, cleaned
  • 150 g panko bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • zest of one lime
  • 1 tsp harissa paste
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper
  • vegetable oil


  1. Stir together the mayonnaise and harissa until well combined. Set to one side in the fridge.
  2. Pat down the squid with kitchen towel and using a very sharp knife slice the squid tubes up into 1/2 inch rings.
  3. Place the flour, egg and breadcrumbs on separate plates and season each with a little salt and pepper. Combine the breadcrumbs with half of the lime zest and an extra dash of black pepper. Dip the squid rings first in flour then in egg and then in breadcrumbs ensuring that they are evenly coated in each. Do this until all rings are coated.
  4. In a medium sized frying pan add 1/2 inch of oil and heat up on a medium high heat until bubbling lightly. Add a piece of squid as a tester – if it sizzles the oil is hot enough, if not turn the heat up until it does. Add no more than 6 squid rings to the pan at any one time and cook for a few minutes, turning halfway through cooking until a golden brown colour.
  5. Lay kitchen towel out on a number of plates and use a slotted spoon to remove the squid from the pan to the plates – this will help absorb excess oil and keep it crisp.
  6. Once all the squid has been cooked lay it out on a plate, sprinkle over the remaining lime zest serve with the harissa mayo and fresh limes.

Thank you so much for reading this post, I hope that you enjoyed it! Please let me know what you think in the comments as I love hearing from you and do not forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and and Pinterest (my username is wishtodish) plus subscribe to me on here to see more recipes and foodie musings from me. 

20 thoughts on “Pepper and Lime Calamari with a Harissa Mayonnaise

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