Some guests recently told me that they love it when their stay falls on a Wednesday and or includes a Saturday, as they know they can have the Londolozi Calamari for lunch! It is indeed a Londolozi signature and although we balance out our daily menus to ensure there’s something for everyone, the Calamari always wins the day!
The Calamari we serve in South Africa is not always what you’ll find elsewhere in the world – we serve a combination of ‘heads’ and ‘tentacles’ – the tentacles sometimes throw a few guests; however, once they are in your mouth, all is forgotten!
So, let’s understand the difference between the Octopus and Calamari.
Last year I did a food safari in Croatia, and was delighted to see Octopus on a menu on day one! This was a grilled octopus steak done over some coals and served simply with fresh lemon. I went on to eat an Octopus dish daily and was pleasantly surprised to enjoy all the different ways it was served – fried, grilled, stuffed, sauteed, it was all delicious.
Octopus is commonly confused with calamari, though both are surprisingly different in taste (when served raw) and cooking methods. Many people think calamari dishes are made from octopus, when in fact calamari is actually made from a type of squid.
Londolozi’s Grilled Calamari & Aioli
- 250g Calamari heads, washed & cleaned
- 100g Calamari tentacles, washed
- 100g Butter
- Handful of mixed herbs – fennel, parsley, chives
- 2 Cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 Red chili, chopped (optional)
- 100g Mix baby green leaves & rocket
- Wash & clean the calamari heads and tentacles – (sometimes, although they have been cleaned, the cartilage which looks like a super-thin shard of glass is left behind —it is inedible and must be removed. Simply grasp the cartilage with your fingers and pull it from the squid body tube)
- Mix the soft butter with the chopped herbs, garlic & chili.
- Heat a non stick pan until it gets seriously hot. This will prevent the calamari from getting tough from too much cooking!
- Throw in the calamari heads first and they will jump a little and sizzle a bit! Turn them over to get some colour on them (light brown) – then add the tentacles. These will also sizzle a bit and almost swell up.
- Add the herb & garlic butter and toss quickly, coating the calamari all over.
- Season with maldon (kosher) salt
- Serve with homemade aioli, veggie crisps & baby leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- In a blender, whisk together yolk, lemon juice, and mustard.
- Combine oils and add, a few drops at a time, to yolk mixture, blending constantly, until all oil is incorporated and mixture is emulsified. (If the mixture separates, stop adding oil and continue whisking until mixture comes together, then resume adding oil.)
- Add the garlic and season with salt & pepper
- To make the Aioli thicker and slightly more creamy, you can blend in 1 teaspoon of water
- Chill, covered until ready for use.
Please let me know how you go in the comments section below. See you soon for more deliciousness with Londolozi’s Lockdown Larder!