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Chef & The City: Hot Buttered Cuttlefish or Calamari

Chef & The City: Hot Buttered Cuttlefish or Calamari

Chef Charles: Hot Buttered Cuttlefish ( Calamari ) is a personal favourite !Until you read my next update on the lively journey of changing my career from Management to Cheffing, here is something for the husbands to impress their family on weekends with in the meanwhile ๐Ÿ˜‰


Hot Buttered Cuttle Fish (Calamari) with Cashew and Spring onions




Prep :

Clean the Cuttlefish and cut into 2-3 inch rectangle pieces. Then using a sharp knife make thin diagonal cuts on one side of the cuttle fish without cutting all the way through. This will make it look like flowers when they fry up and will help create a softer texture with a crispy coating. You can leave the tentacles as is. If you find flowers difficult to create – just cut the Cuttlefish into rings and it will come out fine.

Tip: ย Soak the Cuttlefish(Calamari) in whole milk for a couple of hours. This will help tenderize the fish and keep it from getting a rubber like consistency.


1. After marinating the Cuttlefish for a couple of hours in milk drain the Cuttlefish well and wipe with paper towels.

2. Season the Cuttlefish with salt, and fresh ground pepper and coat with the beaten egg. Mix corn flour and the semolina flour in a large zip lock bag season the flour with a few pinches of salt and pepper add the cuttlefish in batches and shake well till all the pieces are well coated.

3. Heat oil and drop the cuttlefish into the hot oil shaking off any excess flour. (Do this in small batches to prevent them from clumping together).

4. Fry till cooked and light golden and let the oil drain on paper towels

5. Fry up the dried red chillies till crisp using the same oil. (Tip soak the chillies in salt water before frying for a tasty crunchy finished product)

6 Lightly fry the whole cashews till golden brown and season with a pinch of red chili powder and salt.

7. Heat a wok. Add the butter when it is fully melted and almost at smoking point add the minced garlic and spring onion.

8. Immediately add the sugar, chili paste and fried cuttlefish and toss for a few seconds. 10grams of Chili paste instead of 25 maybe better for most folks.

Finally toss in the fried chilies and chopped cilantro/coriander leaves and cashew nuts and drizzle the Ponzi soy sauce.

Serve hot with lime or lemon wedges.




Best served with steamed jasmine rice or a simple egg fried rice washed down with a chilled glass of beer โ˜บ.

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  1. Beautifully presented. Will prepare this dish … soon !

  2. Thanks Jaliya, Let us know how the dish comes out ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. how do u cut the cuttle fish in that shape? where can we buy that?

    • Hi Kevin,
      You need to first clean the Cuttlefish and cut into 2-3 inch rectangle pieces. One you have all the rectangle pieces in place take each piece and using a sharp knife make thin diagonal cuts on one side of the cuttle fish without cutting all the way through. The trick is not to cut all the way thru so the fish is still all in one piece. This will make it look like flowers when they fry up and will help create a softer texture with the crispy coating given in the recipe. You can buy cuttlefish also known as calamari from most fresh fish stores try to but the larger sized ones as they will be easier to cut into uniform sizes.

  4. emailkavikaari says:

    I am going to prepare this on my sons request. thanks for the recipe.

  5. What milk we can use?

    • Hi Fathima,
      You should use regular dairy milk 2% or higher. Thanks.

      • the 2 hour soak in milk is pure genius. i just made this dish today. i call it Sex on a Plate. fabulous. congratulations. this is probably one of the top 5 dishes in the world to me now. fabulous!!!!

  6. joy coooray says:

    Hi Charles, by going thru your wonderful recipe for HOT BUTTER CUTTLE FISH I am pretty sure I will be able to entice my entire family !!!! It s the best ever recipe I ve ever come across !!!!! THANKS A MILLION !!!

  7. Mano Yakandawala says:

    Hot butter cuttlefish is my favorite and I made this last night. it came perfect, thanks a million Charles. Its a great recipe.

  8. hey, can i use milk made of milk powder?

  9. Hi Chef Charles,
    Ive tried alot of hot buttered cuttlefish recipe’s on the internet, but they never came even close to your one. This is identical to the ones that you get in top restaurants. I never knew about the milk trick which tenderizes that cuttlefish. it really made a difference. I tried your recipe and and i have to say that im well satisfied . Thanks for your contribution and hope you’ll keep posting wonderful recipes like this.

  10. First tried this last year… All my freinds love it. Anytime they come over this is all they want… Make this on a regular basis now! So easy and super yummy!!! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  11. I made this recipe,, it was really good, thank u very much for the recipe.

  12. Made this recipe last night…it was easy and tasted great. Everyone loved it.

  13. Tried it today and it was just super. One of the best dishes that I came a across. I added a dash of ginger along the garlic and it turned out great. Recommended………

    • i think the ginger would be too much. why gild the lily. i wouldn’t change a thing.

      oh secret… don’t fry for more than minute and a minute and a half at max. make sure the oil is good and hot. use Nigella’s padama. i.e. fry a cube of bread and it should sizzle like mad and go golden fast.

  14. Sir can we use all purpose flour instead of semolina flour ?

  15. Hi thanks for the recipe. Quick question – made this but the flour didn’t stick to cuttlefish as such. Does it have tp do with the milk – how long should I soak the cuttlefish for? Thanks!

  16. Hi,
    From where can we buy semolina flour? Is it the same as regular semolina (rulan)?

    • yup. it’s rulang. you shouldn’t use flour cos it won’t get that crunchy texture that rulang gives.

  17. Don Kulatunge says:

    Hi CC,

    I am going to prep this recipe for my mothers b’day tomorrow to complement the Chinese food my sister is preparing.
    Thank you for posting such a well explained and descriptive method. I love the bit where you have advised to soak the cuttlefish in milk to make them soft.

    Looking forward to the preperation.

  18. hey its a good recipe… I tried it today, i got that same texture and taste bt the fish was not soft enough it was hard,,, n also i put it in milk for about 2 hours even though it had rubbery like consistency,,,
    y is it? pls help me out with this…

  19. Hi Chef….i had a small issue when i was preparing the dish…when i fired the cuttlefish it came into dark brown colour..i could’t get the colour as shown in the image…could please tell me what can i do for this?
    Thank You..

  20. Thanks for this recipe it came perfectly.
    Appreciate having a Thai Green/Red curry chicken recipe

  21. Shanika Samarakkody says:

    Hello Chef!
    Thank you so much for the amazing recipe. But I want to know if I have to soak the cuttlefish in milk after cutting it in to pieces or what?
    Thank you!

  22. Niroshan Francis says:

    I tried. It’s easy to prepare and delicious. Thanks you very much for the recipe.

  23. About to try tnite.I will send feed back later.Having squid,cuttle fish and scallops.Thanks for the tips

  24. Sorry I am all over this. Just made this tonight and I can tell this is one of the best recipes for anything ever. Brilliant.

    Key: soak in milk as advised. ENsure your oil is the right temp. Use Nigella Test : fry a cube of bread and it should sizzle like mad and become golden immediately.

    Do not fry more than one minute max minute and a half. And do not overcrowd. Try to use a high temp oil. That will also affect the quality i think.


    • Brilliant to hear from you renu. As i say it’s either ‘feast or famine’ with visitors ( food metaphor, you notice ;)) and the most commented is the cuttlefish and the second, the Lamprais methinks. We got our priorities on food over politics and so we should ๐Ÿ˜‰ Drop in sometime.

  25. felicia says:

    i will try this to night pls let me know the quantity of semolina and cornflour mixer

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