For many of us, gutting and cleaning squid is a task we would rather skip and pay extra money for. The slimy tentacles and inky goo are really not as appetizing and enticing to the eyes. What we’re saying is, face your fears. It really isn’t that hard. It just takes getting used to. Save your money and learn from the experience. Fried calamari made from scratch is unbeatable.
You can put on some rubber gloves if you want to. But this would defeat the whole purpose of the experience. Get a plastic bag ready nearby for the guts and all that good “junk”. Now, we’re ready to begin.
1. On a cutting board, lay the squid in a horizontal orientation. Depending on whether you are left or right handed, face squid in that direction.
2. Hold the squid’s head securely with one hand and its body with the other. Pull the squid’s head gently and steadily away from the body.
3. Guts will be on the cutting board. Don’t panic.
4. Now that the body is emptied, reach in and grab onto a plastic-like sheathing. Securely hold it in between your thumb and your index finger as if you’re picking something up daintily. Pull it out.
5. With the back of your knife, gently brush the outer ‘dermis’ of the squid’s body to clean it. This should give you the store-bought squid appearance afterwards.
6. The head and the tentacles are usable. Just make sure there is no cartilage left in the head.
7. Put all the unneeded parts in the plastic bag. Make sure to tightly lock the bag before throwing it away.
8. Slice accordingly depending on what kind of dish you’re preparing the squid for. For fried calamari, for example, you would cut the squid perpendicular to its back.
And voila! You are done. Don’t forget to save the squid ink and refrigerate it for other dishes later on. Bon Appétit!