Sunday, November 21, 2010

Eviscerating Squid: A super sensual experience (Step by step guide on how to clean a squid)

I'm pretty sure I am going to lose some readership on my blog after this post. This post is not for the faint of heart. In fact if you are vegetarian you may not want to read this post. But if you are super trooper then do carry on reading.
Anand Prahlad of the Spotted Dick fame has magic fingers. He bakes, cooks, draws, designs, is a perfectionist typographer and has great taste in movies and music. He is quite the man I must say. Anand had promised me a squid session. I wanted to learn how to eviscerate a squid which essentially means I wanted to stick my fingers in its mantle (the large white bulb like thing) and pull out its organs.
So last evening Anand invited Sangeeta and myself for a night of white russians, squid cooked two ways and home made lemon tarts. Yes he made dessert as well!
We bought the squid from the seafood section of Food Right in Mulund. Anand pointed out that the blacker the eyes are, the fresher the squid as opposed to cloudy eyes. I think that would be true for all seafood. The skin of the squid is speckled with chromatophores that allow the squid to change color. How cool. We bought two squids.
Anand started the first squid and I did the second under Anand's meticulous supervision. It was a really fun. The squid was very sweet and clean smelling.
What follows is a step by step process of cleaning and eviscerating the squid. I am posting most pictures of Anand prepping the squid and a few of me (afterall this is my blog). Let me tell you as Anand demonstrated his squid cleaning skills he also gave Sangeeta and me invaluable insight on the female erogenous zones.

Check out that skin
Separate the tentacles from the head
Separate the head
Readying to pull out the quill. 
Pulling out the quill which looked like plastic.
The quill/ the pen/ the gladius
The longer tentacles are cut off

Pulling the flat fin at the back and separating it from the mantle helps initializing the skinning process
The beautifully clean mantle. Now gently tug at inside organs.
The evisceration of the squid...
Here they come
Pulling the innards out in one go.

The mantle is empty and needs to be thoroughly washed
The tentacles.. very dramatic
The fin needs to be very carefully cut in two parts and from it this hard thick flesh needs to be sliced away as it will not cook well.
Clean all the skin from the edges

Slice the mantle into rings- this is for the Malabar curry
Add caption
The end tip- not sure but Anand was trying to explain something with this.
The mouth is still attached to the tentacles. This needs to be cut out as well. 
The suckers on the tentacles have to be cleaned out next.
scrapping the suckers. You can determine the size of the squid by the size of the suckers.
Anand the squidy genius
My squid
Essentially the same steps. Pictures courtsey Sangeeta.

I deskinned! Look how happy I am

Instruction from Anand on how to eviscerate the squid

OH! Oh! Amazing! Wow... that was something else.

The ink sacs- this squid did not put up too much of a fight.
Clearly I am enjoying cleaning up the squid mantle.
The beautiful mantle- so pure and white.
The tentacles 

Sangeeta cleaning the tentacles
Sangeeta's matrimonial pic- she can clean the tentacles!
For the appetizer, slice open the mantle and lay it flat.
The beautiful pattern
The strips
The scoring helps the flavours to stick to the surface.

For the recipes of the squid and pie click here.
Also it was hard to write this post without being too vulgar.


  1. Jyotika- "Now gently tug at inside organs."
    Squid- No! please! hahahahaha! Thats really ticklish.

  2. @ Abhishek- Ill tickle you back.. the squid was yummy... hahahah

  3. wonderful...always wanted to learn how to do this! not as difficult as i had thought!

  4. Omg! Zazu im super impressed that you did this! Considering you were squealing at the idea of marinating the inside of an already hollow turkey - im super impressed with you!! good job!!

  5. Great ics...I do it the Bong way...get my gals Pushpa and Poonam to do it

  6. "Let me tell you as Anand demonstrated his squid cleaning skills he also gave Sangeeta and me invaluable insight on the female erogenous zones."

    Of ... squid?

  7. Oh Sohan- You had to be there to get it.. but no - not of squid :)))

  8. Definitely not meant for the faint hearted.

  9. Sigh!! That was quite a blog! I am wondering how the skin comes off so smoothly, or atleast it looks like! The hardish crunchy texture, even after its cooked tell you otherwise!.

  10. @Mrs Ray: I thought you were a little tougher than that...
    Chandni: It takes a little tugging and pulling but once you get the skin going.. it comes off easy. You have to be gentle..The texture of the squid is chewy... but over cooked it can be tough.

  11. hey, i prepared them on last saturday for my mom.... she loves squid fry what we prepare at home.

    Jyotika we need to catch up for a cooking session, what say you.

    Will post the tapioca with beef, it's called kappa biryani in kerala.

  12. OMG Rajeev... I cant wait to come to Bangalore then.. Please send me pics of your kappa biryani..

  13. I love this post! I've been pretty squirmy when I hear squid chatter, but not this time. I'm rather motivated to give it a go actually :)

  14. @Shaheen:
    Wow I think this is your first comment on my blog. Honored. And yes it was actually really nice to clean the squid. Not bad at all.

  15. Ive had not too good experiences with cleaning squid and had the blue ink splattered all over :( I wasn't sure what to pull out and what to retain. Now this post is really helpful.. Will practice with the steps u pointed out!