Squids have a light, subtle taste and a high recovery rate, and are firm yet tender. Cuttlefish flavour is mild.
To produce tender cephalopods, cook them quickly (for less than 2 minutes) over a high heat, or slowly simmer or braise. Their ink can darken sauce or colour pasta, and they can be used on skewers and in tempura and pasta sauces.
Squid is popularly served as deep fried rings (often called “calamari”). The squid is sliced into rings, or kept flat and scored diagonally, crumbed, deep fried and served with tartare sauce—but try chilli jam instead.
Squid can be coated in sea salt and cracked black pepper, seared very quickly on the barbecue over a high heat, and served with a mixture of lime juice, palm sugar and tamarind.
Stuffing squid is a versatile method of preparation. Olives, onion, parsley and breadcrumbs make a good base—then the options are endless. Poach in a court bouillon for added flavour and serve with capsicums, capers, fennel, tapenade and a reduction sauce of the squid ink, if desired. Due to its texture, squid is also suitable for casseroling.
Cuttlefish requires quick cooking if the flesh is not to become tough. It can be stuffed and grilled whole—see Maggie Beer’s recipe from Charlick’s Feed Store in Adelaide
(p. 307)—or shaved and served as a garnish or in a warm salad.
Tenderise squid and cuttlefish with raw papaya or kiwifruit in milk 2–4 hours before cooking.
||Low to Medium
Squid rings with tartare sauce are best accompanied by a youthful Riesling. With squid served seared and spicy, offer full flavoured Chardonnay s to combat the forcefulness of the tamarind, sugar and lime mixture. Subtle wines such as Colombard or Chenin Blanc complement cuttlefish.
Nutrition Information (average quantity per 100g)
||328* (78* Calories)
||42% of total fat
||7% of total fat
||51% of total fat