As an Italian-American, I cut my teeth on fried calamari. Whether made at home by my old man or at the Long Island outpost of Vincent’s Clam Bar, it was almost always eaten with a marinara sauce spiked with copious amounts of red pepper. The other day I tried a Chinese twist on fried squid at Shanghai 33 that was simply amazing.
The restaurant on the southern reaches of Main Street has fast become my go-to spot for xiao long bao, so I was somewhat surprised to see them serving fried squid. Any doubts I may have had were dispelled with the first bite. I could easily polish off two orders of what the menu calls salty mini squid ($5).
The tiny little critters are fried and tossed with green chilies, garlic, and green onion. Salty, spicy, and crunchy it as an addictive combination that kept me and my dining companions coming back for more. What I have come to call Shanghai 33’s Chinese calamari might not have spicy marinara, but I have a feeling that my old man would have loved it.
Shanghai Cuisine 33, 57-33 Main St., Flushing, 718-353-5791