Garlic Cayenne Calamari with Nigerian Fried Pepper Sauce

This South African recipe is a party favorite. Just don’t overcook the calamari unless you want to know what it’s like to eat a hemorrhoid donut (it turns from tender to rubbery very quickly). Remove the calamari from the pan the moment it is done.

reeling in the years

Garlic Cayenne Calamari Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds calamari tubes, thoroughly cleaned
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon milled black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne
  • 7 ounces butter
  • 2 tablespoons crushed garlic
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon wedges for squeezing
  • Nigerian Fried Red Pepper Sauce


  1. Slice the calamari according to size; smaller specimens are better cut in half, lengthwise, laid flat and each piece scored lightly in a diamond pattern.  Next, toss the calamari in the flour seasoned with the black pepper and cayenne.
  2. In a large, non-stick frying pan, heat the butter and oil until it starts to brown.  Stir in the garlic, add the calamari and cook for one and a half to two minutes, depending on the thickness.  Press it down with a spatula to brown nicely.  Cook the calamari in batches, to control how quickly it cooks.
  3. Transfer the calamari to a warmed serving platter, and squeeze the lemon wedges over the top.  Last, spoon the sauce over the appetizer.  Garnish with lemon wedges and serve with rice.
Photo by Andrés Montiel from Pexels