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Ingredient

Squid

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A.K.A

calamari

What is it?

A member of the mollusk family, this relative of the octopus has an elongated body and 10 arms. Though they range greatly in size, the squid used in cooking, is on the smaller side with a body just a few inches long. When cooked it has a somewhat chewy texture and a mild flavor some describe as sweet. It can be sautéed, grilled, stir-fried, or deep fried, as in the famous Italian squid dish, calamari fritti.

How to choose:

You can buy squid fresh or frozen, whole and sliced. Fresh squid should have a clean ocen scent and it should look shiny and plump, not deflated. Avoid forzen squid if it shows signs of freezer burn, such as excess ice crystals. Some fish markets sell squid that’s already been cleaned, but you’ll pay extra for it. If you want to save a little money, you can buy whole squid and clean them yourself.

How to prep:

if the squid is already cleaned, it’s a matter of cutting the tentacles and body as your recipe described. The bodies can be cut crosswise to make rings, sliced lengthwise into strips, or left whole for stuffing. To clean squid yourself, start by cutting off the tentacles below the eyes. Flip the tentacles back and squeeze out and discard the beak. Trim off the “wings” on the sides of the body. Starting at the tip of the body, run the dull edge of the knife firmly down the squid to simultaneously peel off much of the membrane, if it hasn’t already been removed, and squeeze out the viscera, including the plastic-like skeleton or “quill.” Rinse the cleaned tentacles and bodies, inside and out, under running water. Cut large tentacles in half.

How to store:

Store fresh squid airtight in the refrigerator and use within a day or two.

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