Squid Tempura with Cocktail Sauce & Ponzu Mayo

The Starving Chef is supported by Hungry People like you. When you make a purchase through an affiliate link on my site, I may earn a little bit of cash on the side (at no extra cost to you) to help keep my kitchen running. Read our disclosures here.

Calamari is one of my favorite dishes. My boyfriend and I get it as an appetizer whenever it is available on a menu at pretty much any restaurant. I decided that it was high time that I learned how to make it for myself so I set out to make the best copycat restaurant calamari that I could.

I decided to make some sauces to dip my calamari in, with a twist on sweet and sour. I made a tangy cocktail sauce and a spicy ponzu mayo – both created from simple ingredients I found in my fridge door, like ketchup, mayonnaise, sriracha and hoisin sauce. I bought my squid fresh for this dish, but I have used frozen squid for similar dishes in the past, so whichever you can get your hands on works.

I also used a store bought tempura mix, but I have made tempura batter myself, way, way, way back at the beginning of this blog. This boxed mix lead to a much crispier calamari, which I preferred to my thicker, homemade batter. Just whisk together the ingredients for each sauce and chill while battering and deep frying the squid. That’s really all there is to it!


Squid Tempura with Cocktail Sauce & Ponzu Mayo

The Starving Chef
Homemade crispy fried calamari rings – a simple recipe with boxed tempura mix taken to the next level!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Per Batch 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American, Asian, Quick & Easy





  • Whisk together the ketchup, horseradish sauce, hoisin sauce, paprika and cayenne pepper to make the cocktail sauce. Chill until ready to serve.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, soy sauce, sriracha and lemon juice. Chill until ready to serve.
  • Preheat a deep fryer or pan filled with two inches of oil to 325 F. Use a sharp knife to cut the squid into rings.
  • Mix together the tempura batter and ice water. It will be chunky. Dip each ring into the batter then toss into the fryer for 1-2 minutes until the squid is golden brown.
  • Transfer the calamari from the fryer to a plate lined with paper towels to remove any excess oil.
  • Serve right away with the prepared sauces and fried rice. Enjoy!


Keyword calamari, deep fried, seafood
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!