This Vegan Calamari recipe is delicious and fairly easy to make too! Instead of squid, I used marinated soy curls that are dredged in a flour coating and pan-fried until they are crispy and delicious! Serve with a garlic mayo dip (recipe below) or marinara sauce. This recipe also makes a great alternative to fried clams.
For the soy curls:
For the batter:
- 3/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour (gluten-free if preferred)
- 2 tablespoon(s) cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
- light oil (such as canola or vegetable), for frying
For the garlic mayo (optional, or sub with marinara sauce):
- 1/2 cup(s) vegan mayonnaise (or sub plain vegan yogurt)
- 1 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
- 1 clove(s) garlic minced or pressed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- 1 tablespoon(s) cilantro or parsley roughly chopped (for garnish)
- Marinate the soy curls: In a medium bowl, whisk together the vegetable broth, pickle juice, white miso paste, garlic powder, and salt. Add the dry soy curls and soak for 15 - 20 minutes, stirring every now and then until the soy curls are softened and have sucked up some of the liquid.
- Make the garlic mayo sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Batter the soy curls: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, pepper, and salt. Once the soy curls have soaked and softened, take a small handful of the soy curls and let the marinade drip off (do not squeeze them). Drop the soy curls into the flour mixture and toss to coat evenly. Shake off excess flour and then transfer to a plate. Repeat to coat all of the soy curls.
- Fry the calamari: In a large skillet, add about 1/2 inch of oil and heat. To test of the oil is hot, drop a small piece of soy curl into the oil. If it bubbles the oil is ready to use. Working in batches, carefully drop soy curls into the oil in a single layer. Fry a couple minutes per side until golden, then flip and fry a couple minutes more on the other side.
- Drain the fried soy curls on a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Fry the remaining calamari. Serve the calamari hot, with lemon wedges and the dipping sauce and garnish with cilantro or parsley.
Soy Curl Substitute: while soy curls can be easy to find in some parts of the world, they can be very difficult to find, or very costly in other places. Soy Chunks, Soya Chunks, TVP Chunks are all basically the same thing, just in different shapes, so try looking out for these instead. Air fryer version: to make the soy curls in an air fryer, follow all of the steps to prep the soy curls. Preheat your air fryer to 370F (190C). Generously coat the flour coated soy curls in spray oil so that there are no dry spots, flip and repeat. Working in batches, place the soy curls in the basket in a single layer keeping them spaced out so there is air around each soy curl. Air fry the soy curls for about 6 minutes until they are crunchy and lightly browned around the edges.
Serving: 1 serving without the garlic mayo sauce (recipe makes 2 servings) | Calories: 526kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 2209mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 288IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 6mg