Wondering How to Clean a Squid?

How to clean a squid video

Video Guide

The easiest way to learn how to clean a squid is to watch our video

Thorough squid cleaning is important and it’s easy to do when you know which parts need to be removed and why.

Whole squid is usually fresher and more flavoursome than using pre-cut pieces.

With just a little time and effort in the kitchen, you can enjoy calamari and other seafood dishes at home, just as your favorite restaurant serves them.

cleaning squid

Parts to remove when cleaning squid

When cleaning squid for cooking, the remaining piece is called the mantle. This white flesh is cut into strips, rings or other shapes for use as an ingredient in many seafood recipes. Calamari rings are the most commonly known and popular squid dish.

The parts of the squid to be removed are:

squid cleaning head

1. The Head

The squid’s head is removed first, by cutting it off just below the eyes. This gives access to the mantle and makes way for the rest of the squid cleaning process. If you want to cook the tentacles, cut them from the top of the head and set them aside for separate preparation.


2. Internal Organs & Ink Sac

Now you have access to the body - or mantle – and internal organs. The organs can usually be pulled out in one action, but check for any leftover tissue and remove or rinse it out, so the mantle is clean.

The larger the squid, the more ink it will contain. The ink sac usually comes away intact with the other organs (see above). If it ruptures, just rinse the squid clean under cold, running water. Squid ink is harmless and edible. It is used by chefs as a gourmet ingredient in sauces, for its colouring and intense flavour.

Use a SquidEzy™ for squid cleaning and you are less likely to rupture the ink sac.


3. The Pen

Similar to a feather in shape and composition, the pen – or quill – is made of cartilage.

It normally also comes out in one action when pulled out from the mantle. Sometimes a small piece of the pen breaks off at the base, so always check inside.


4. Fins and Membrane

The fins are shaped like small wings on the outside of the mantle and you can pull them off easily, by hand.

Fins can be set aside for cooking, but you will need to trim the thin strip of hard substance from their edges, which is not suitable to eat.

The last thing to remove during squid cleaning is the skin, by peeling it from the mantle’s opening, down to its narrow tip. It may come apart from the flesh in one piece, but if not, use a knife to gently scrape off any remaining skin.

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