If the squid hasn’t been cleaned, gently separate the mantle (also called the tube)
from the head, then scoop out and discard the interior of the mantle. If you wish to use the
ink, remove it carefully from the inside of the mantle. Pull the membrane off the mantle. With
a sharp knife, cut the tentacles off below the eye, then squeeze to discharge the hard beak.
Rinse and pat dry.
When using prepared steaks, tenderize them by making 3/4-inch (about 2cm) deep cuts around
the edges, then pound with a mallet until thin.
Squid flesh can become tough and chewy. The secret to successful squid cookery is to either
cook it quickly enough so it doesn’t toughen, or to braise it long enough to break down
the dense, firm muscle fibers.
Pour oil into a wok or deep fryer; it should be at least 1 1/2 inches (about 3.8cm) deep,
and the cooker should be less than half full of oil. Heat oil to 375°F (190°C),
using a thermometer to monitor temperature. Cut squid into bite-sized pieces. Dip in batter,
drain, then slip pieces into hot oil. Cook until crisp (about 45 seconds). Don’t wait
until it turns brown or it will be overcooked.
Dip tenderized squid in a beaten egg–milk mixture, then in crumbs and spices if
desired. Heat a frying pan until hot and add oil. Add squid, making sure they are not crowded
in the pan, and cook, turning once, until brown, about 2 minutes.
Cut squid into bite-sized pieces and stir-fry gently in hot oil for about 30 seconds before
adding to your favorite stir-fried vegetables.
Total cooking time should not exceed 2 minutes.
Cut the mantle into 2- to 3-inch (5 to 7.5cm) pieces. With a sharp knife, score both sides
of the meat with a diamond pattern. Put on skewers to keep from curling, then place them 1
inch (2.5cm) above prepared hot coals or fire. Cook for 2 minutes on each side.
Cut squid into 3- to 4-inch (7.5 to 10cm) lengths and braise in cooking liquid and herbs and spices for about 1 hour.
Buying and storing tips
Quality squid is easy to tell. It smells like the ocean, never strong or fishy. It looks
shiny and firm, not saggy and deflated. The membrane covering the squid is gray, not purple or
To store fresh or thawed squid, unwrap, place in a bowl covered with a wet paper towel,
refrigerate, and prepare and eat them the same day. Store frozen squid in its original
wrappings in the freezer for up to two months.
To thaw, unwrap the squid, place in a bowl or pan, cover, and let thaw overnight in the
refrigerator. To thaw more quickly, wrap squid in waterproof plastic and place in a sink with
cool running water, allowing about 1/2 hour per pound (454g). For fastest thawing, use the
defrost cycle of your microwave, allowing 2 to 5 minutes per pound (454g), with equal standing
time in between zaps.
The three North American food species are the Atlantic shortfin, Atlantic longfin, and the
Pacific California (Monterey) squid. The longfin is larger, but all three have similar taste
and texture. Giant squid from Mexico and Argentina are usually available as frozen tenderized
steaks. Squid caught in U.S. waters often appear in markets frozen, and are then thawed, but
they can also be bought fresh. Freezing does not harm squid and may be a benefit, as it tends
to soften the sometimes very firm muscle fibers.
Squid, 3 oz. (85g) (raw)
Total Fat: 1.2g
*Excellent source of: Selenium (38mcg), Riboflavin (0.35), and Vitamin B12 (1.1mcg)
*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular
nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good
source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily
When fried, squid (mixed species) provides 0.642 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, derived from EPA (0.162g), DHA
(0.38g), and ALA (0.1g), per 100 grams of squid (mixed species).
The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes
only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult
your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any
supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications.