Popularly known also as fried squid or calamares, rabas fritas is a family favorite. Many versions exist as this is a very common snack/tapa in Greece and in Spain, among other places, and of course, Filipinos do love their calamares.

This recipe is inspired by one of the old(er) Spanish restaurants in the country which has been a personal favorite of my husband and I. I make this on special occasions as the preparation is quite laborious and could take some time. Also, I cook this whenever I make paella negra because I'd have the extra squid heads - they can be the appetizer prior to serving the main dish.

Rabas fritas is a good dish accompaniment to your paella and tortilla espanola – a great weekend spread for the family.


Squid heads from 4kg of squid

4 eggs, beaten


Flour, for dredging

Salt and pepper

4 pieces calamansi

Oil for frying

Lemon wedge, for garnish

 Squid heads or tentacles make for a great rabas fritas dish while the body can be used for your other dishes.
Squid heads or tentacles make for a great rabas fritas dish while the body can be used for your other dishes.


1. Clean the squid. Remove the head from the body and take out the beak (the bony cartilage) and the cuttle or cuttlebone (the plastic looking inedible cartilage too). You can also take out the black ink sac located in the innards and set this aside (you can incorporate this in many other dishes or make your own squid ink sauce).

2. You also would want to remove those tiny amounts of squid ink behind the eyes so your rabas fritas would not end up being dark in color.

3. Once the squid heads are clean, you can wash them in running water and put in a mixing bowl.

4. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Then, add the 4 eggs and the juice of 4 calamansi.

5. In a frying pan add your oil.

6. Take a couple of squid heads and dredge in flour, shake excess.

7. Deep fry and place in a plate with paper towels to get excess oil.

8. Garnish with lemon wedge, aioli and extra paprika.

Yield: Serves about 4 to 6 as a side


- You can add extra paprika spice prior to serving.

- You can experiment on the flour you want to use for frying. Other options available include potato starch, wheat flour (not gluten-free), or your preferred flour blend.

- Make your own aioli to serve as dipping sauce.

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