Grilled, Stuffed Squid

Buy 1 pound of uncleaned squid. The ones I bought had bodies about 5-6 inches long and there were 8 of them in a pound. Clean the squid (directions below) reserving the ink, which is the whole reason to buy uncleaned squid and cleaning them yourself. Chop 4 scallions, napa cabbage (about 1¼ cups) and 1 medium large carrot. You will have about 2 to 3 cups of finely chopped vegetables. (You can grate the carrot if you  like and if you don’t have scallions, you can use onion.) Saute the vegetables in olive oil until soft, seasoning them with salt, pepper, dried herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary  and dill) as they cook. and remove from the pan. Remove the fins and tentacles from the squid and chop finely. Saute them briefly in the pan and add to the vegetable mixture. Add the squid ink and mix to complete the filling.

Fill each squid body with the filling. Close with a toothpick. When about ready to eat, grill the squids on each side until done. Squid cooks quickly but it will take long enough to get nice-looking grill marks on the squid. Be sure to remove toothpicks before serving; drizzle with a bit of olive oil and serve.

Cleaning squid isn’t as bad as this description makes it sounds. You can do it quickly and are rewarded with the ink, which you can’t seem to get your hands on easily any more (unless you buy it commercially… and I’m not even sure what they’re selling when you buy that stuff).

  1. Grasp the squid at the tip of the body and just behind the eyes. Pull to separate the tentacles from the body.
  2. Remove the cuttle bone from the body cavity: just fish it out with your fingers.
  3. Look for the ink: it’s a small black sack encased in a silvery-colored material. Sometimes it’s in the body, but often it comes out when you separate the tentacles from the body. You can carefully squeeze the pasty ink out of the sack that holds it and not get it all over your hands. There isn’t a lot of it, but it will definitely flavor the filling.
  4. Reach in the body cavity with your fingers as you run some water: pull out and discard anything you find.
  5. Remove the purple skin from the body.
  6. Cut the tentacles off from the innards by making a single cut between the tentacles and the eyes. Check that the beak is gone from the mouth area (between all the tentatcles). It usually separates when you make the cut, but check to be sure it’s not in the center of all the tentacles. If you find it’s still there, just push it out with your fingers.

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