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How to prepare squid

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Learn how to prepare squid for deep-frying, slow cooking, barbecuing and pan-frying. See our expert tips and techniques.

Points to remember

  • Pull out the tentacles from the main body. Cut just below the eye and discard the innards. Discard the beak and then trim the long tentacles level with the rest.
  • Pinch the two fins together, thread thumb underneath and pull them away from the body, along with the membrane and discard.
  • Pull out the shell or 'quill' and then remove the innards using the back of a knife.
  • Cut the squid open, and scrape any more innards out and discard. Cut into slices, or score the squid and cut into pieces.
  • You can now cook the squid. Frying is a popular method - squid pieces just need to be cooked for 30-40 seconds on a very high heat. Serve immediately.
When frying, don't place too many pieces in the pan at once - they'll steam, overcook and become tough instead of staying tender.
Squid should be served immediately after cooking - it doesn't hold for too long or reheat successfully.

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