Squid Tempura with Cocktail Sauce & Ponzu Mayo

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Squid Tempura with Cocktail Sauce & Ponzu Mayo

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Calamari is one of my favorite dishes. My boyfriend and I get it as an appetizer whenever it is available on a menu at pretty much any restaurant. I decided that it was high time that I learned how to make it for myself so I set out to make the best copycat restaurant calamari that I could. 

I decided to make some sauces to dip my calamari in, with a twist on sweet and sour. I made a tangy cocktail sauce and a spicy ponzu mayo - both created from simple ingredients I found in my fridge door, like ketchup, mayonnaise, sriracha and hoisin sauce. I bought my squid fresh for this dish, but I have used frozen squid for similar dishes in the past, so whichever you can get your hands on works.

I also used a store bought tempura mix, but I have made tempura batter myself, way, way, way back at the beginning of this blog. This boxed mix lead to a much crispier calamari, which I preferred to my thicker, homemade batter. Just whisk together the ingredients for each sauce and chill while battering and deep frying the squid. That's really all there is to it!

Categories: Dinner , Side Dish , 52 Weeks of Cooking , Video Recipes

Tags: Calamari , Tempura

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Squid Tempura with Cocktail Sauce & Ponzu Mayo

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2-3 minutes

Makes 3 servings


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  • 1 lb squid, cleaned and chopped into rings
  • 2 cups oil, for frying
  • 2 cups tempura mix
  • 1 cup ice water

For Cocktail Sauce

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  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For Ponzu Mayo

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  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • squirt sriracha
  • spritz lemon juice

Here's How:

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  1. Whisk together the ketchup, horseradish sauce, hoisin sauce, paprika and cayenne pepper to make the cocktail sauce. Chill until ready to serve.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, soy sauce, sriracha and lemon juice. Chill until ready to serve.
  3. Preheat a deep fryer (or pan filled with two inches of oil) to 325 F. Use a sharp knife to cut the squid into rings.
  4. Mix together the tempura batter and ice water. It will be chunky. Dip each ring into the batter then toss into the fryer for 2-3 minutes until the squid is golden brown.
  5. Transfer the calamari from the fryer to a plate lined with paper towels to remove any excess oil.
  6. Serve right away with the prepared sauces and fried rice. Enjoy!


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