Anyone who knows me and who follows the site regularly knows mine and my wife's love affair with tacos. 9/10 if I ask Mrs AnotherFoodBlogger what she wants for dinner I am met with tacos. Given that I have done crispy fish tacos, grilled fish tacos and steak tacos I wanted to try something new. I picked up some delicious fresh calamari tubes from my guys up at the Fresh Fish Co here in Brisbane and well roll on the calamari tacos!!
Why I Love Calamari Tacos
Simplicity. Tacos don't need to be complicated to be good. Yeah, you can add loads of amazing components to a taco to make them badass but sometimes the simple things work the best. A charred corn tortilla, a sprinkling of red cabbage, perfectly cooked calamari (ready in just 2 minutes), some citrus and delicious fresh & spicy coriander salsa. Are you drooling yet? Imagine having a dinner that looks this good and tastes better ready in about 15 minutes. Oh, that's right you can as long as you read on!
Chili & Coriander Salsa
5 ingredients, a sharp knife, chopping board and a bowl is all you need. Well, about 5 minutes of your time too and you can whip up a simple salsa. It works perfect with these calamari tacos but could also be used with grilled pork, chicken or even a nice medium rare rib fillet 😉
Preparing the Calamari
Did I mention before that this dish is really simple? Well, hold on to your hats because this bit does get REALLY simple.............
Sharp knife, chopping board, calamari tubes and a glass of wine necessary 😉 Simply, slice your calamari tubes about 1 cm thick and step 1 is done.
This is where it can get a little tricky - place the calamari in a bowl, add olive oil, lime juice, salt & paprika. Toss to combine and leave it for a couple minutes whilst you work on the salsa.
Adopting the same policy as before with this one. Hot grill pan or frying pan, a small amount of oil as we have already oiled the calamari and cook them on high heat for about 1 minute each side. Calamari cooks SUPER fast so don't go texting or drinking to much of the delicious wine pairing you are about to read about shortly.
TOP tip - cook the calamari in batches. If you add them all to the pan straight away you will crowd the pan. This lowers the temperature of the pan and also means you won't get a nice char on the calamari either.
One word - IMPRESSIVE. Michael, owner and winemaker of Vanguardist Wines aside from being a solid dude, makes some cracking wines. Over the past, while I have had some great banter with him in between his early starts, cleaning the production line etc getting ready for V21. He just launched a high end (limited production) Grenache called 'Rende' which I am UBER excited to get hold of.
Ever heard the phrase "you get what you pay for"? Well, this is one of those moments. Truth be told, his wines aren't the cheapest but boy are they good. I drank his chardonnay for the first time last year and loved it so much that there are now 6 of them in the cellar. It's drinking well but I can see it's going to get better in time.
All the fruit is sourced from top quality fruit across South Australia with their mission being to provide the consumer with premium, small batch wines that will make you sit up and appreciate the love and care that goes into their product.
Wanna take a guess what we are pairing? Vanguardist 2019 Clare Valley Riesling. I love it - it's as simple as that. It's a little different from the mainstream Rieslings you get. Definitely a wine lovers wine. There is almost a slight pet nat element to it. It's racy on the palate offering a slight fizz at first. I am reminded of these hard sweet I used to eat growing up called 'apple drops'. Lime, a touch of spice, a little chalkiness to it and it finishes dry. It's EXTREMELY drinkable now but if you are smart you will grab a few bottles and watch how it evolves over a few years.
A calamari taco in one hand and a glass of Riesling in the other makes for a perfect meal.
Alternative Taco Recipes
Happy Cooking & Happy Eating Friends!!
- 12 tacos
- 2 calamari tubes
- 2 orange
- 2 corn
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lime juice juiced
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- pinch salt
- 100 g red cabbage
- 2 spring onions
- 2 green chili
- 1 handful coriander
- 1 lime zested
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch salt
- Chef Knives
- Chopping board
- mixing bowl
- cast iron pan/grill pan
- Slice calamari into 1cm rings and marinate in oil, smoked paprika, salt & lime juice
- Segment the orange and cut into small pieces
- Coriander dressing – slice the spring onions and chili finely, roughly chop the coriander and mix with the remaining dressing ingredients
- Char the corn and remove kernals from the cob
- Heat a grill pan/cast iron pan and heat the tortillas. Wrap in foil until ready to use
- Using the same grill pan/cast iron pan, add a splash of oil and once smoking cook the calamari for 2 minutes – turning half way. Cook the calamari in batches so you don’t crowd the pan
- Place the tortilla on the plate, top with red cabbage, calamari, orange segments, charred corn and a drizzle of the coriander dressing
- only marinate the calamari tubes as you prepare the rest of the ingredients. The acid in the lime juice will start to cook the calamari so it’s not one of those “marinate overnight jobs”
- you could also crumb the calamari and deep fry if you wanted to – soak the calamari in buttermilk and toss in flour before frying for 1 minute
- if you want the coriander dressing a little hotter then don’t remove the seeds/pith
- calamari will overcook and become rubbery very quickly so try not to get sidetracked 😉