Squid’s In! A guide to choosing and preparing fish from top seafood supplier Flying Fish

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Squid might not be the prettiest of creatures, but don’t let that put you off!

Joedy Barbery, Sales Account Manager at Flying Fish, talks us through what to look for when choosing a squid and how to prepare it.

“When you’re picking out a squid you need to be thinking about appearance, feel and smell,” explains Joedy.

“The first thing you’re looking for is a vibrant appearance,” he says. “You want the squid itself to have a nice white colour and dark, mottled grey spots. A dull appearance or pinkish hue is a sign of poor squid. A pink colour means that it is a few days old or has been frozen.”

“The flesh should be firm and not too soft, and a good squid should not smell.”

According to Joedy it’s also important to check how it has been caught.

“All our squid is jigged, he says, “which means that it’s caught on a line which makes a kind of up and down motion. It’s the most sustainable method, and it’s also the best way to catch squid without damaging them.”

A little known fact about squid is that they only have a life cycle of one year. This means that they are breeding all year round and are therefore available most of the time.

squid (2)“There are some lovely squid around at the moment,” says Joedy. “At the moment they are one of our fish of the week, but September to December tends to be a really good time for them as well.”

And unlike some other things, when it comes to squid size really doesn’t matter.

“Because of their short life span, a squid that’s about a kilo is generally about as big as it’s going to get, and the smaller ones are the baby squid of course.

“The size isn’t really important, it just depends how the chef wants to cook it.

“The smaller squid tend to be cooked very quickly, while a bigger squid can be cooked quickly, but is also very tender if it’s cooked low and slow.”

How to prepare a squid:

1. Hold the tube of the squid in one hand and with the other take the tentacles just above the eye and pull gently but firmly.

This will remove the tentacles, along with the guts and the quill which looks like a bit of plastic.

2. Discard the guts, offal and quill.

3. Take the tentacles and cut just below the eye with a pair of kitchen scissors and discard the innards. Trim off the beak (the small, hard lump in the middle of the tentacles) and any long tentacles and throw them away. Set aside the remaining tentacles.

4. Take the hood of the squid and pull off the membrane leaving just the firm, white flesh.

5. Rinse the cleaned hood and the tentacles and then you are ready to cook!

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