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Sep 28, 2010 09:44 AM

Dipping sauce for calamari?

Anyone have a recipe or an inspiration/idea for a dipping sauce for calamari?

I've got a few ideas in mind (basically the tried and true) but looking for something unique or inventive.


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  1. Romesco is good and a little different than the standard aioli/marinara/tartar sauce.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Auriana

      Do you use roasted tomatoes in your Romesco sauce? I'm thinking if I do a Romesco with roasted tomatoes I can sub out the marinara. Thanks.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        Ginger Soy Sauce.....slightly sweet or spicy

        Roasted Red Peppers....pureed

    2. At the Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Greenville, South Carolina they serve their calamari with a sweet thai chili sauce and a big lemon wedge for squeezing. The chili sauce is so ubiquitous now that you can get it at most decent grocery stores in the ethnic food section.

      This is the stuff I keep on hand at home. I don't get it from Amazon...btw.

      1. What about a Thai inspired dip combining tamarind, lime, fish sauce, garlic, sugar and Sriracha?

        3 Replies
        1. re: JungMann

          Yeah, I've definitely got Sriracha on the ready, just not sure how to incorporate it into a sauce. I might just adopt your idea but sub in Oyster suace for the fish sauce. Thanks.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            How about a nice spicy mayo dip? Or a lemon aioli? I love calamari with just a squirt of lemon (no dipping sauce needed), but a tangy mayo-based dip would be welcome on my plate :-D

          2. re: JungMann

            I agree. After all, Sriracha, unless I'm mistaken, was created as a seafood dip.

          3. Our "house recipe" for fried calmari is to just chop up some pickled pepperoncini and scatter over the squid, then squeeze some lemon on top. We first had that at a restaurant in Savannah GA and have been serving it that way ever since, but we ate at Ming Tsai's Blue Ginger last weekend and the calamari there is served with a Thai lime dipping sauce that was delicious. I just googled it and it's fish sauce, lime juice, cilantro, basil, mint, and ginger. It was wonderful, so next time we fry calmari, we're trying this!

            1. You could do Rhode Island style fried calamari which isn't exactly a dipping sauce, I make it a bit differently but there is a link to a Jasper White recipe below. Peruvian Huacatay Sauce goes nicely, as does Piri Piri sauce (although its more along the tried and true). If you want to experiment a bit, I have had some sauces where you chop a bit of garlic, then hot peppers (something with a bit of color, malaguetas, thai red chilis, hot red italians or hungarian -- use more), and cover them with coconut milk and let them sit a while in the fridge (to pick up flavors and let the garlic mellow or fry it first)... serve it with spices you prefer and correct with a bit of lime juice as needed.


              1 Reply
              1. re: itaunas

                There's nothing better the Rhode Island style, and you can also do it sauteed, not fried.