In one of the earlier seasons of The ITM Fishing Show hosted by Matt Watson, the graphic illustration of just how voraciously squid feed was shown on our screens when an angler pulled on board a striped marlin that had been all but completely devoured by a squid attack. The damage inflicted was impressive.
Several species of squid are found in our waters and they can all be turned into tasty treats. If you don’t wish to catch your own and then have to deal with them, fresh or frozen cleaned squid ‘tubes’ can be purchased from your local supermarket or fishmonger.
Catching your own squid is fun, but be warned: at times it can be quite messy when the squid squirts its last line of defence, black ink, everywhere.
Once you have your squid safely on board, it is easy enough to deal with. Pull the tentacles from the squid, being careful to take the stomach and ink bag with them. Cut the beak, stomach and ink bag from the tentacles and discard. Wash the hood (body) and peel back the skin. Either cut the hood into rings or ‘honeycomb’ it.
The latter involves making a cut down the length of the hood to open it out flat. Using a sharp knife cut parallel lines a few centimetres apart down the length of the flesh, taking care not to cut right through it. Then make similar cuts at right angles to form a diamond pattern. Cut the ‘honeycombed’ hood into 3 to 4-cm squares.
Squid dishes feature prominently in the cuisine of a number of countries – perhaps the result of its universal availability. It also forms an important part of the global marine food chain, enjoyed not only by us humans!