This is the first part of a two-part series on how to prepare squid.
Start with an entrée sized quantity of baby squid and a Boker ceramic knife.
Pull the insides out of the baby squid by grabbing the head above the eyes and gently pulling the head and the hood apart.
The first step on the assembly line is completed, now set aside the head and tentacles.
The ink sac is the black 'blob' in the middle of the photo, and we’ll focus more on this in a later article.
Stick your finger up inside the hood and remove the flexible, translucent piece of cartilage from the squid's centre. Also take any mucky substances out of the hood.
Peel the outer skin from the hoods.
All the hoods skinned. You now have flat calamari hoods plus the heads and tentacles. We will deal with the tentacles in a later edition.
Using the Boker ceramic knives, open up each hood by slicing one side lengthwise.
You can see that the open hood (butterflied) has a much greater surface area for cooking.
Now for the cross hatching. Lay the hood flat and score light cuts into the flesh, only a millimetre deep, with a sharp knife. Try not to cut all the way through (it doesn't matter if you do cut through a little bit) and keep a spacing between the cuts of about 12mm (half an inch).
Now go back the other way, at 90 degrees, to get the criss-cross effect. This releases the surface tension on the squid hood’s skin. Rinse your squid, just in case you’ve made a bit of a mess.
Cook the squid hoods one way, and the tentacles using another technique and you have squid two ways. Firstly we will cook the hoods, using the following easy peasy salt and pepper recipe.
4x baby squid hoods per person, prepared with crosshatching
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup cornflour
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
#7976 In a glass bowl, place the squid bodies and lemon juice. Stir well to combine and then place the bowl into the fridge for 10 minutes to marinate.
While you wait, put the cornflour, salt and pepper in another glass bowl and mix well to combine. Then heat a few tablespoons of oil into a heavy based frypan or wok. Remove the marinated squid from fridge and drain off and discard the lemon juice. Pop the squid into the cornflour mixture and use your fingers to tumble and thoroughly coat the squid in the seasoned flour.
Shake each piece slightly to remove excess flour. Then place the coated squid into the hot oil, a piece at a time.
The squid bodies will curl up when they hit the oil. Fry for a couple of minutes only before removing the squid from the pan or wok.
Drain the squid well on paper towel.
Serve with a sprinkling of chilli flakes if that suits your taste buds.Reads: 961