Beer Battered Calamari with Yogurt Sauce

5 from 1 vote
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Beer Battered Calamari with Yogurt | Omnivore's CookbookBeer Battered Calamari is spiced up with chili pepper and five spice. The pungent and tangy flavor is enhanced by the light and fluffy coating. The garlicky yogurt sauce adds a splash of refreshment to the fried calamari and stimulates your appetite immediately, making this dish taste heavenly.

Fried squid is a common snack in Asian restaurants. Not surprisingly, every place has its secret recipe for the batter and marinade, so you will encounter some delightful surprises for a simple snack.

Some of the best fried seafood I ever had was in Istanbul. Of course, the primary reason is that they use very fresh seafood. But they also create some of the best batter that is so buttery and fluffy, which tastes divine with a splash of yogurt dip. The other day, I saw this recipe for beer batter clams in Ghillie Basan’s cookbook Classic Turkish Cooking. The idea of the batter looked so great that I decided to try it with a batch of calamari (If you have read my fish cake post, you understand how difficult it is for me to find nice seafood).

Beer Battered Calamari with Yogurt | Omnivore's CookbookThe secret to this recipe is the egg yolk. Basicly, a fry batter can be made with or without egg. The egg white functions similarly to glue, in that it holds the batter together and creates a thin, crispy coat. The flour itself will create a good batter if you add right amount of water. While egg yolk won’t help hold the batter together, it does contribute to a fluffy texture. If used properly, the batter will be airy and light, different from the crispy batter type. I consider the fluffy type to be best suited for seafood.

Although egg yolk is the secret weapon for creating great batter, there is one thing that you should take note of. The batter will only work if you fry it in hot oil. If the oil is warm, the coating will turn out soggy and soft. To maintain a high oil temperature, fry the squid in small batches. If you add all the squid at once, the oil temperature will drop suddenly and lead to a prolonged frying time and a soggy coating.

Beer Battered Calamari with Yogurt | Omnivore's CookbookThe other highlight of this recipe is the yogurt dipping sauce. The amount of garlic I prescribe may seem daunting, but the sauce will be so flavorful and pungent. The refreshing yogurt dip compliments and balances the fatty fried calamari to reach a delicate balance. The fried dish is so light and appetizing that I can finish a whole batch in one sitting! Not great for my diet goal!

After you make the fried squid, make sure to pour yourself a cold beer or a glass of sparkling wine. It’ll feel so rewarding and satisfying! 🙂

Beer Battered Calamari with Yogurt | Omnivore's Cookbook

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Beer Battered Calamari with Yogurt Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Seafood, Snack
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


for the batter

  • 80 grams 3 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 150 milliliters 5 ounces beer
  • 300 grams 10 ounces calamari, thawed and cut into rings

for the yogurt sauce

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 6 - 8 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • Add flour, salt, Chinese five spice and cayenne pepper into a big bowl, use a fork to mix well. Add egg yolk and continue to mix a few times. Gradually add in beer and mix until fully incorporated. Set aside.
  • Thoroughly dry calamari before dipping into beer batter. A moist surface will cause the batter to fall off the calamari.
  • Place 2 layers of paper towel on a large plate and set it aside.
  • Mix all the ingredients to make yogurt sauce. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a wok or a skillet on medium high heat. When oil is hot, coat calamari with batter and carefully place into oil, one by one. Do not add too many pieces at once, as it will cause the oil temperature to drop immediately and affect the frying process. Be careful not to overlap the calamari in the pan. It will cause the coating to turn soggy. Fry until golden brown. Transfer squid onto the plate with paper towel. Fry the rest of the calamari batch by batch.
  • The coating will turn crispy after the calamari cools down a bit. Serve immediately with yogurt sauce.
Did You Make This Recipe?Don't forget the last step! Tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!

Beer Battered Calamari with Yogurt sauce nutrition facts | Omnivore's Cookbook

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Thalia @ butter and brioche says:

    This beer battered calamari looks amazing.. definitely going to be trying the recipe. Pinned!

    • Maggie says:

      Thanks for sharing Thalia!
      I forgot my diet plan and finish a plate of those once in a while! 🙂

  2. ATasteOfMadness says:

    Oh my goodness, this looks amazing!! Too bad I’m only living with my boyfriend. He hates calamari. Actually, on second thought…more for me!

    • Maggie says:

      Not to my surprise, I know a lot of people don’t like calamari… I love them though!
      Actually, you could use the same batter to fry fish fillet, shrimp or oyster. Maybe then you could share it with your boyfriend 🙂

  3. Christine | No Gojis No Glory says:

    Calamari is my all time favorite appetizer when we go out to a restaurant. We don’t eat out that often, so it’s definitely a treat for me! I’m sure that batter would taste amazing on fish as well, but I’m not sure I’m brave enough to prepare calamari on my own. Good seafood is not cheap around here and I’d hate to muck it up. Love that bowl by the way 🙂

    • Maggie says:

      Prepare calamari is actually really not so difficult than you think. I always buy whole calamari and clean it at home (they are cheap here). I thought about shooting a how-to video last time, but the scene is kind of “bloody”… Anyhow, I totally understand the feeling that you don’t want to mess with expensive ingredients. Actually you could try the frozen calamari or fish, if you ever want to cook the fried dish. It will taste good enough because the seasoning is quite strong.

  4. Russell from Chasing Delicious says:

    What a killer recipe! I love it!

    • Maggie says:

      Thanks Russell! Have a great weekend 🙂

  5. Robyn says:

    5 stars
    I love calamari and so much better with a healthy dipping sauce! Love the use of yogurt here, Maggie, and all of those flavours sound like such a tasty combination. Your batter is so nice and fluffy!
    I’m really missing not being on the west coast right now where I could walk to the dock and pick out my fresh seafood from the boats coming in! Thankfully, I’ve found a company here that is flying it in fresh from around the world except that I have to be prepared to mortgage my house to pay for it, lol.
    Gorgeous dish!

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