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Hot Sauce Love: Recipe for Calamari Salad with Sriracha Dressing

Addie Broyles

Ahead of a story in tomorrow’s food section about two new hot sauce cookbooks and a rockin’ new locally made sauce, I wanted to give a little love to this 2010 Valentine’s Day story about the science behind why humans are so infatuated with capsaicin — the chemical that makes hot sauce hot. (This column remains one of my favorites, in part because of the haiku poems that students in Cynthia Thomas’ fourth-grade class at Oak Hill Elementary wrote and illustrated to run alongside the article.)

With that story, we ran the recipe for fried calamari salad with Sriracha dressing, a popular dish at Annies Cafe & Bar downtown.

Annies’ Calamari Salad with Sriracha Dressing

6 oz. calamari, cleaned of cartilage and ink

1/2 cup buttermilk

Oil for frying

2 cups panko bread crumbs

2 cups all-purpose flour

pinch salt and pepper (to season flour)

5 cherry pepper rings, thinly sliced

5 lemon rings, sliced paper-thin

5 banana pepper rings, thinly sliced

2 cups arugula

Sriracha dressing (see recipe below)

Soak calamari in buttermilk overnight. Remove calamari and slice into 1/2-inch rings. Heat deep fryer to 350 degrees.

Combine panko, flour and salt and pepper. Dredge calamari and lemon and pepper slices in seasoned flour-panko mixture and coat thoroughly. Place in fryer basket and shake to release excess flour. Fry for 45 seconds. Remove calamari and lemon and pepper slices and place on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Place arugula in a bowl and add fried mixture. Toss with 2 Tbsp. dressing and serve.

For Sriracha dressing

3 cups mayonnaise

3/4 cups rice vinegar

1/4 cup sriracha hot sauce

1/2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 tsp. soy sauce

Mix well and toss sparingly with salad. This recipe yields 4 cups, which means you’ll have plenty left over to put on hamburgers, fish and wraps or use as a dipping sauce for french fries, vegetables or chips.

— Annies Café & Bar, 319 Congress Ave.