“I’m not even squidding…”
If you are a regular follower, you may be aware I have a couple of favoured ingredients I can’t help but cook with on a regular basis – one of them being ginger, and the other squid.
My familiarity with cooking squid has meant I now confidently cook and prepare fresh, whole squid with very little effort. However, if this is the case, it means only one thing – it must very simple…once you know!
In the past, I have been a little complacent with offering instructions of how to prepare squid. However, in an attempt to encourage the purchasing and preparing of beautiful whole, fresh squid, in all its glory, here is a quick guide to untangle any uncertainties surrounding this tentacled mollusc.
Once the preparation process has been mastered, why not try my latest recipe; Asian Squid Salad – a super simple recipe but packed full of fresh Asian flavours and textures.
Purchasing, storing and cooking your squid:
- Squid is best purchased whole, with ink sack still intact
- The eyes should be bright and shiny – this ensures the squid is fresh
- Cook as soon after purchase as possible to ensure the freshest results
- Squid can be frozen on purchase, keeping well in the freezer for a couple of months – defrost thoroughly before use
- Squid should be cooked extremely quickly or over a long period of time. It is best fried for 2-3mins to ensure it doesn’t turn rubbery. Alternatively, stew for 30-60 minutes to ensure its texture is tender.
How to prepare your squid;
- Pull tentacles and head from the main body – remove and discard ink sack and entrails
- Cut the tentacles close to where they join the head, reserving the tentacles and discarding the head
- Remove the ‘plastic-like’ bone from the body of the squid before thoroughly washing out, removing any sand, grit and ink residue
- Slice the body into rings before place in a colander, along with the tentacles, and wash again
- Set aside on a tea towel to thoroughly dry.
- 1 Whole squid
- 4 mini peppers (these are often sweeter and add colour to your salad)
- Bunch of spring onions
- 1/2 Cucumber
- 2 Tsp Oyster Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
- 1 small thumb-size piece of fresh ginger
- 2 Gem Lettuce
- 2 Tbsp plain flour
- 1 tsp Chinese five spice
- 2 Tbsp Rapeseed oil
- Small bunch of coriander
- Prepare the squid by pulling the head and tentacles from the main body. Cut the tentacles from head reserve for cooking. Remove the ‘plastic-like’ bone from the body of the squid before thoroughly washing out.
- Slice the body into rings before place in a colander, along with the tentacles, and wash well. Set aside on a tea towel to thoroughly dry.
- To prepare the salad, thinly slice the peppers, spring onions and cucumber (you may wish to deseed the cucumber first) place in a bowel along with the oyster sauce, sweet chilli and finely grated fresh ginger – set aside and allow to marinade. Shred the lettuce and divide between two plates.
- In a clean bowl, combine the flour and five spice before adding the dried squid. Coat in the flour before shaking off the excess. In a very hot, non-stick pan of oil, add the squid and cook for around 4 minutes.
- Assemble the dish by placing the marinated vegetables on the bed of shredded lettuce – spoon over any excess marinade. Top with the crispy squid and a liberal sprinkling of coarsely chopped coriander.
- Allow the squid to crisp on the outside but be careful not to over-cook as it quickly becomes rubbery