Calamari souvlaki is a member of the seafood souvlaki family, if we can call it that way. There is nothing much different in making the calamari souvlaki in comparison with octopus, or swordfish souvlaki. Maybe some ingredients are different here and there, but given the abundance of herbs and spices in Greece, it’s easy for them to be creative.
Souvlaki made with calamari or baby squid is a popular summer souvlaki in the Greek islands and it’s easy to find it on the menu of many restaurants and taverns. It goes well with many side dishes, like potatoes, green salads, rice, spinach, etc…that are often seen among meze plates.
The easiest way to make calamari souvlaki is to buy fresh and already cleaned calamari so that you don’t need to go through the process of cleaning them. If buying the whole ones and if they are big, just cut them in the desirable and proper length. Greeks would rather look for smaller ones simply because they are tenderer, and there is less work around them. But there isn’t a big difference between smaller and bigger calamari except in cooking. Big ones need high heat and quick cooking in order to remain tender. If you let them sit on the grill longer than needed, you could have some chewing issues! And it wouldn’t be calamari’s fault!
Marinating calamari is not necessary, but for the sake of souvlaki it’s always good to do it. Just poke the body of the calamaris a little with the fork before putting them in the marinade. They won’t necessarily become extremely tender but they will taste better. Actually, calamari should retain its crispiness even in souvlaki!
Calamari Souvlaki Recipe
• Calamari, cleaned
• Olive oil
• Garlic cloves, mashed
• Juice of 1 lemon
• Lemons, sliced
• Dry Oregano
If you are buying the frozen package of calamari, just defrost it and dry the pieces.
Make a marinade of olive oil, garlic, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and dry oregano, and while mixing well , add some salt. Add the calamari in the marinade and keep it for 10 – 20 minutes! Yes, this is a quick marinade!
Grill it for a minute or two on each side and on the high heat. Be sure to have enough lemon handy to enhance the grilled taste of calamari.