EatSmarter exclusive recipe

Lebanese-Style Calamari

with Homemade Harissa
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Lebanese-Style Calamari

Lebanese-Style Calamari - A Lebanese delicacy - fiery, crunchy and satisfying

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Health Score:
93 / 100
45 min.

Healthy, because

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Nutritional values

Just one serving covers the daily requirement of vitamin B12, which is involved in the formation of red blood cells and gets the nervous system going. In addition - besides easily digestible protein plus iodine - there is also plenty of vitamin E. As an antioxidant it protects our cells from free radicals.

The spicy spice paste, which is said to have been invented in the Lebanese village of Harissa, enhances rice and couscous dishes to a spicy taste and can also be used as a spread on bread for those who like it fiery from time to time.

1 serving contains
(Percentage of daily recommendation)
Calorie194 cal.(9 %)
Protein24 g(24 %)
Fat7 g(6 %)
Carbohydrates6 g(4 %)
Sugar added0 g(0 %)
Roughage1.5 g(5 %)
Vitamin A0.1 mg(13 %)
Vitamin D1.2 μg(6 %)
Vitamin E5.6 mg(47 %)
Vitamin K33 μg(55 %)
Vitamin B₁0.1 mg(10 %)
Vitamin B₂0.3 mg(27 %)
Niacin7 mg(58 %)
Vitamin B₆0.4 mg(29 %)
Folate28 μg(9 %)
Pantothenic acid0.7 mg(12 %)
Biotin15 μg(33 %)
Vitamin B₁₂6.2 μg(207 %)
Vitamin C26 mg(27 %)
Potassium556 mg(14 %)
Calcium78 mg(8 %)
Magnesium58 mg(19 %)
Iron3.3 mg(22 %)
Iodine22 μg(11 %)
Zinc1.8 mg(23 %)
Saturated fatty acids1.4 g
Uric acid178 mg
Cholesterol188 mg
Complete sugar2 g
Development of this recipe:


2 red chili peppers
3 large garlic cloves
2 ½ tsps ground cilantro
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tsps ground Cumin
150 grams roasted paprika (from a jar)
3 Tbsps Tomato paste
2 Tbsps Red wine vinegar
2 Tbsps ground paprika (sweet or smoked)
4 Tbsps olive oil
500 grams fresh Calamari
½ bunch cilantro
How healthy are the main ingredients?
Tomato pasteolive oilgarlic clovesaltcinnamonCumin

Kitchen utensils

1 large, heavy Skillet, 1 Bowl, 1 Cutting board, 1 Large knife, 1 Small knife, 1 Tablespoon, 1 Teaspoon, 1 Wooden spoon, 1 Mortar, 1 Jar, 1 Food processor (or blender)

Preparation steps

Lebanese-Style Calamari preparation step 1

Rinse chile peppers, wipe dry, halve lengthwise and remove seeds. Coarsely chop chiles. Peel garlic and coarsely chop.

Lebanese-Style Calamari preparation step 2

In a mortar, finely grind garlic, chiles, 1/4 teaspoon salt and half  of the ground coriander, cinnamon and cumin.

Lebanese-Style Calamari preparation step 3

Drain roasted peppers and pat dry. Combine garlic mixture with remaining ground coriander, cinnamon and cumin in a food processor (or blender). Add tomato paste, roasted peppers and vinegar and blend to a smooth paste (harissa).

Lebanese-Style Calamari preparation step 4

Stir in paprika and half of the olive oil.

Lebanese-Style Calamari preparation step 5

Pour harissa spice paste into a food storage jar and add a thin layer of olive oil. Secure lid and refrigerate until ready to use. 

Lebanese-Style Calamari preparation step 6

Pull out the tentacles from the calamari body, then cut to separate above the ring.

Lebanese-Style Calamari preparation step 7

Push out the chitin from the tentacles, then rinse and drain on paper towels.

Lebanese-Style Calamari preparation step 8

Remove the transparent backbone from inside the calamari tube, then peel off the membrane. Remove fins from the tubes.

Lebanese-Style Calamari preparation step 9

Cut tubes with a very sharp knife lengthwise and remove the entrails. Rinse calamari thoroughly with cold water and pat dry.

Lebanese-Style Calamari preparation step 10

Place calamari pieces with the inside facing up and score in a diamond pattern with a sharp knife. 

Lebanese-Style Calamari preparation step 11

Cut pieces into strips, about 2 cm (approximately 3/4 inch) wide. Halve tentacles.

Lebanese-Style Calamari preparation step 12

Rinse cilantro, shake dry, pluck leaves and coarsely chop.

Lebanese-Style Calamari preparation step 13

Pour remaining olive oil into a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Cook all calamari pieces for about 1 minute, turning frequently. Season with salt and pepper.

Lebanese-Style Calamari preparation step 14

Add harissa paste to skillet and toss with calamari. Serve immediately, sprinkled with cilantro, and with couscous, toasted bread, or a green salad with pomegranate seeds, as desired.