Calamari doesn’t just come in rings; when sliced long, fishmongers create flat pieces of calamari called a steak, which can be prepared very quickly in a hot pan or very slowly in sauce in the oven. When overcooked, the meat contracts, making it tough. If the calamari is cooked over a long period of time, the meat eventually breaks down and becomes soft again. When calamari is served between these stages it is tough and rubbery.
Defrost frozen calamari steaks in cold water for 12 hours or in the refrigerator overnight.
Pound fresh calamari steaks lightly with a mallet to tenderize. Score steaks diagonally both directions, creating a diamond pattern which will prevent the meat from curling.
Pat dry with paper towels. Coat lightly with flour, salt and pepper right before cooking.
Lightly coat metal pan and heat to medium-high on the stove. Coat the pan with vegetable oil.
Lay the calamari steaks in the hot pan; do not crowd.
Cook for one minute on each side until the steaks just turn from translucent to opaque. Do not overcook or they will become tough.
Remove from pan and serve.
Heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lay calamari steaks in baking dish.
Cover with sauce of your choosing; tomato sauce works well.
Cook for 1-2 hours until soft.
Use fresh calamari the same or next day of purchase. Soaking calamari in buttermilk in the refrigerator overnight will further tenderize the meat.
Do not thaw calamari in cold water longer than 12 hours out of the refrigerator.