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Everybody loves a sandwich, this sandwich may sound slightly unorthodox if you have never heard of or tried it, but trust me when we tell you, it’s one of the tastiest and most simple bites Spanish food culture has to offer. 


In this new post from our series ‘perfect Spanish recipes’ we present to you, the perfect ‘Bocata de Calamar’ in English, the fried squid sandwich. 


Deliciously crunchy fresh fried squid rings, soft fluffy bread, creamy garlic mayonnaise and a dash of grated lemon zest, sounds pretty satisfying right? 


Before we get into it let’s dive into a bit of history behind this sensational sandwich, because let’s be honest it goes way back and there is a lot. 


Typically in Spain fried squid or shellfish comes from the región of Andalucía, however the fried squid sandwich originates solely in Madrilenian culture. Many centuries ago, to be specific, at the beginning of the 18th century it was very difficult for people in Madrid to gain access to fresh fish. During the time of ‘Cuaresma’ a time in which laws were imposed to stop the consumption of meat, people had to replace meat with fish and vegetables. Due to this imposition of law, at the start of the 18th century special permits were put in place to ensure that fresh fish and shellfish could be transported from the coasts of Spain into the northern peninsular. Eventually fried squid became a firm favourite in Madrilenian society due to its cheap prices and easy access, from its immediate popularity and not long after the ‘Bocata de Calamar’ became a staple of fast food in Madrid and is to this day a firm favourite within its food culture. 


As in all of our posts we offer a list of rules or if you will, culinary commandments, that are very important to take into consideration: 

– the squid must be fresh, frozen is not an option 

– the squid should be cut only in rings and don’t forget to add in some of the tentacles for extra crunchiness 

– the dredge should only be that of egg and flour 

– the bread must be crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside, pretty much the closest thing to a baguette that you can find

– the squid must always be served hot and the bread fresh and not toasted 

– no other ingredients apart from garlic mayonnaise or a touch of lemon, the flavour of the fresh squid is key


Now that you have read all of the important points about this delightful sandwich, I am sure your taste buds are tantalizing at the thought of trying it for yourself. The récipe is quick to make and relatively simple, it brings us great joy to be able to share it with our readers, as we are convinced you are going to love it! 




– 200g of fresh squid, tentacles and rings 

– 50g plain white flour 

– 4 whole eggs 

– 300ml sunflower oil for frying 

– 1 large crunchy baguette 

– 50 ml olive oil 

– 1/2 clove of garlic 

– 1 whole lemon  



– Begin by cleaning the squid 

– Cut the squid into 2cm thick rings, and dry off with a paper towel 

– Set the squid aside in the refrigerator 

– In a bowl set aside one egg yolk, and 1/2 clove of finely grated garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice

– Whisk these ingredients together and slowly add the olive oil one small amount at a time whilst continuously whisking

– The mixture will thicken and turn to a light colour 

– Once the mixture is reminiscent in colour and texture yo that of mayonnaise, set aside in the refrigerator 

– Prepare 3 bowls for the dredging of the squid 

– In one bowl break the remaining 3 whole eggs 

– Place the flour into the second bowl, add the squid into the third bowl 

– In sequence place one squid ring into the egg, then into the flour and repeat this process once more until all of the squid rings are properly coated 

– Place the coated squid rings onto a flat tray separately to avoid them sticking together 

– Empty the 300ml of sunflower or rape seed oil into a large saucepan and set to a medium heat 

– Once the olive oil has reached the desired temperature of 100 degrees it is ready to fry the squid 

– An easy way in which to gage if the oil is ready without having to probe it with a thermometer is to place a small amount of flour into it, if this flour sizzles once it makes contact with the oil and begins to rise the oil is hot enough 

– Fry all of the squid for 40 to 60 seconds, placing no more than 5 rings at a time to avoid them sticking together 

– Once the squid is fried place it into a plate covered with a paper towel to get rid of any excess oil 



– Cut open the bread 

– Lightly smother the bread with the homemade garlic mayonnaise 

– Add a generous amount of fried squid 

– Finish off with a light zest of lemon and a squeeze of lemon juice 

– Close the sandwich, cut into portions and tuck in 


Best served with a cold beer or a chilled dry white wine! 


If you try this at home make sure to upload a photograph with the hashtag #TPCathome and mention us on instagram @thepaellaclub

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