How to Prepare Calamari

While many of the other creatures of the sea are being overharvested and in some cases are in danger on extinction, one species is actually thriving – the squid. So much so, that the number of squid on the planet are said to outnumber the amount of humans.

I, for one, welcome our new squid overlords.

However, if you are one of the folks who are looking to take advantage of their numbers by indulging in calamari, you should probably learn how to clean a squid.

It should be noted that squid is one of the few creatures which squicks me to no end. This is probably due to many viewings of 20,000 leagues beneath the sea when I was a wee child. At any rate, Tara took me by the hand and showed me one of several ways to prep a squid for eating. She referred me to the Joy of Cooking:

Grasp the squid’s head and innards as far inside the body as you can; pull gently. If the translucent “quill” remains inside, remove it by itself. Using the dull edge of a knife, scrape any remaining innards from the body.

Just above the squid’s eyes is a hard ball, called the beak, which creates a slight bulge. Cut the tentacles above the bulge (but below the eyes) Squeeze the bulge until the beak pops out.

Discard the beak, head and innards, and reserve the tentacles. With your fingers, peel the mottled purple skin off the body – it usually comes off in one or two pieces – an doff of the tentacles of large squid.

Rinse the tentacles and bodies and dry well. The bodies can be sliced into rings, or left whole to be stuffed. The tentacles can be divided into smallers pieces or left whole.

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