Is the word calamari new to you? It is the Italian name for a type of squid smaller in size than regular ones.
One can agree, the Italian version for the food is fancy making it sound more high-end.
Everyone has heard this dish in seafood restaurants.
It simply has a special place among the many squid recipes.
Prepping fried calamari may be a bore, but eating it is yum-yum.
It is a favorite among squid lovers. This article will fill you with ideas on what to serve with fried calamari.
So don’t stop.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Fried Calamari?
Fried foods, especially deep-fried ones, can be crunchy and satisfying to eat, but they are without a doubt high in fats and calories.
Why would anyone want to suffer without enough nutrients when you can turn things around with a healthy side dish.
Everybody needs a healthy side dish to pair with fried calamari.
This sweet seafood is best complemented by something of the earth; it brings everything together in your mouth and your gut too.
What to Serve with Fried Calamari? 7 BEST Side Dishes
Are you tired of eating fried calamari with just some lemon wedges and ketchup? Don’t fret because interesting side dishes await just a few scrolls away.
1 – Ranch Sauce
Sauces are seafood’s best friend.
Apart from the wide-known tartar sauce, ranch sauce is also similar in taste but with a sweeter taste.
This sauce is a buttermilk mixture with herbs and other ingredients on a mayonnaise base.
If you don’t have a bottled ranch sauce ready, spare 10 minutes to make this sauce from scratch.
Yes, it is that easy.
Because of its tangy and sweet flavor, all kinds of fried food go well with ranch sauce.
People accustomed to its taste know how tempting it is to dip your food in the sauce and see it finished within minutes.
Now that you’ve been introduced to this amazing sauce, you just have to make sure there is a good supply of mayonnaise in your kitchen.
2 – Baked Potatoes
Can a pantry exist without potatoes? This staple vegetable is so versatile it can make an uncountable number of dishes.
Fluffy baked potatoes with the crunchy and crispy fried calamari, what a mouth-watering combo.
You can prepare baked potatoes in many ways.
Nonetheless, adding butter or cheese will give an extra flavor to the already-delicious potatoes.
Tip: Use bigger varieties of potatoes like the Russet or Sweet potatoes as they are more convenient for the recipe.
3 – Coleslaw
Coleslaw is a vitamin-rich slaw.
The cabbage and carrots give enough vitamin A, and mayonnaise gives vitamin E.
Fried calamari and coleslaw would be a perfect match for a light meal.
Add diced carrots to shredded cabbage to level up the taste.
Combining these two dishes would be a mixture of diverse textures─ creamy, crunchy, crispy and altogether tasty.
Coleslaw is healthy; just make sure you don’t have too much of one ingredient, especially salt.
4 – Corn Salad with Basil and Feta
Using corn as a base ingredient is a sign of summer.
The many colors in a corn salad make it pleasing to the eyes you’ll never want to dig in.
But once you do, you’re in it for good. There are many ways to make a corn salad.
For this recipe, you can make the salad ahead of time and serve it with a generous amount of shredded feta cheese.
The basil gives a fresh flavor to the salad. You can use cooked or raw kernels; either is fine.
Eating corn salad with fried calamari gives a good contrast of tender and munchy.
5 – Cocktail Sauce
This sauce is also known as “seafood sauce”. It has a taste similar to ketchup but is on the spicier end.
Its rich red color is addictive, and the taste goes well with any seafood─ fried or raw.
The sauce is a mixture of other sauces and is easy to make.
The commonly used ingredients are Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and lemon juice.
The next time you eat fried calamari, try the cocktail sauce.
It will surely amaze you.
If you’re cooking at home, try making the sauce too, and it takes only 2 minutes.
6 – Baked Beans
This list wouldn’t be complete without some legumes.
Why? Because your meal needs some carbs.
Baked beans are readily available, so you don’t have to worry about preparing them.
Adding baked beans to your fried seafood means making your gut happy.
What’s more? Their flavors complement each other, so do their nutritional benefits.
There is nothing like a balanced meal for a healthy diet.
Baked beans are convenient, but they contain additives and may not suit your taste.
It is recommended that you make your baked beans from scratch and adjust the taste to your liking.
7 – Creamy Potato Salad
Potatoes make a good side dish, main dish, or lunch item.
One of the best side dishes of this staple vegetable is the potato salad.
Using mayonnaise and sour cream for the salad dressing will give that extra creamy texture.
This starchy, tangy, energizing salad is a good match for the sweet, crispy fried calamari.
The crunchy texture helps to mellow down the creamy texture of the potatoes.
Tip: Small potatoes like fingerling, red or yellow potatoes are best for this recipe as they do not need to be chopped and get cooked quickly.
Cook the potatoes with skin on them to retain their natural flavor.
Is it the sauces that caught your attention? Or the salads? Or perhaps the baked beans? Whatever it be, you cannot complain; everybody wants something easy while starting out.
Seafood can be tricky to eat, especially if paired with the wrong side dishes.
If you’ve prepped it properly and have a good dish to go with it, you’re good to go.
With so many side dishes available, it is only a matter of time before you become a seafood lover.
If you’ve ever been disappointed with a meal, don’t give up because your next meal of fried calamari won’t.
These side dishes have your back.