What is squid?

Squid come from the same family as the octopus and cuttlefish, and while they can look unappetising, they're 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 squid

When buying fresh squid, make sure the ink sac is intact. Or, opt for cleaned squid – this will save a lot of time and is easier to work with.

How to prepare squid

Clean under cold water. Pull the tentacles from the body, removing the ink sac and entrails, and 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.

Watch our video on how to prepare squid:

How to store squid

Squid should be eaten fresh, but can be frozen if needed.

How to cook squid

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 to squid

Try octopus.