Chef Tom Colicchio, who opened the 'wichcraft sandwich shop chain in New York City in 2003, based this sandwich on his memories of eating street food in Singapore. This recipe first appeared in our April 2011 special Sandwich Issue with the article Chef's Special.
½ cup mayonnaise 1 tbsp. sriracha hot sauce 1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes 1 tbsp. canola oil, plus more for frying 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 2 tsp. fish sauce 6 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed, seeded, soaked overnight, and drained 1 lb. calamari rings and tentacles, cleaned 2 cups cornmeal 2 6″ soft hoagie rolls 6 leaves basil 4 sprigs cilantro ¼ cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise ¼ small bulb fennel, thinly sliced lengthwise 1 lime, peeled and segmented
1. Whisk together mayonnaise, sriracha, and chile flakes in a small bowl; set aside. Heat oil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add fish sauce and chiles; cook, stirring, until blistered and tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
2. Pour oil into a 6-qt. Dutch oven to a depth of 2″ and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 360°. Coat calamari in cornmeal, shake off excess, and fry, tossing occasionally, until cooked through, 2–3 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to paper towels to drain.
3. To assemble the sandwiches, split the rolls and spoon some of the mayonnaise mixture onto each half. Add the chiles, then the basil, cilantro, cucumber, fennel, and calamari, then top with lime segments. Cover with top halves of rolls.