Glossary

Squid

Squid

Pronounce it: s-kwid

From the same family as the octopus and cuttlefish, squid may look jellyish and unappetising but they are actually a versatile food source. Available all year round, they can be frozen without adverse effect, and the ink can be used to colour and flavour pasta. Squid should be cooked either very briefly or for a long time - anything else and it will be rubbery and chewy.

Choose the best

When buying fresh squid make sure the ink sac is intact. Or, look for ready-cleaned squid, which saves a lot of time and bother.

Prepare it

Clean the squid under cold water. Pull the tentacles from the body, removing the ink sac and entrails. Pull out the plastic-looking quill that is inside the body. Rinse the body sac. Cut through the head, below the tentacles, and remove the bony beak-like piece. Scrape the membrane from the body, discard, then wash the pieces again.

Store it

Squid should be eaten fresh, but can be frozen without adverse effect.

Cook it

Chargrill or sauté baby squid for no more than a few minutes, or coat squid rings in seasoned flour or a light batter and deep-fry. Since it does not have a strong flavour in itself, squid benefits from being marinated before cooking or paired with punchy ingredients like chilli or chorizo.

Alternatives

Try octopus.

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