06/08/15 9:42am

Behold Shanghai 33’s Spicy Baby Calamari

Crunchy, spicy, and salty baby squid from Shanghai 33.

Crunchy, spicy, and salty baby squid from Shanghai 33.

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

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2 Comment

  • MMMM…great find Joe. Definitely will try next time at S33. Love to alternate between S33 and Kung Fu XLB.

    BTW<our friend Pedro says hi – saw him Saturday – business looked a little slow, might be a good time to remind everyone that hot weather and ceviche are a perfect pair!

  • Joe- had this a few months back and was so good i ordered another

    Went last friday — BAD NEWS —- recipe changed! Now it’s long pieces of squid in spongy not-at-all crisp doughy batter. It sucked. I asked the waiter if the recipe changed and he apologized — the head chef had just arrived, he’d bring me another proper one. Was really hopeful but the same dish came back, slightly more cooked. It also sucked. One the bright side, the rest of the dishes were great including the xiao long bao and a new one i tried, watercress with enoki mushroom. Also, we found a worthy replacement for the squid – the scallion pancake – super crispy and sublime.