If you’re a seafood lover, you’re in for a treat with this recipe for cooking crispy baby squid. This dish is a perfect combination of tender squid and a crunchy coating that is sure to satisfy your cravings. Whether you want to impress your dinner guests or simply enjoy a delicious meal at home, this recipe is a must-try.
To get started, you will need the following ingredients:
- 500g of baby squid
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- Vegetable oil, for frying
Once you have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to prepare the squid. Start by cleaning the squid thoroughly, removing the head, guts, and ink sac. Rinse the squid under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut the squid into rings or leave them whole, depending on your preference.
In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, paprika, black pepper, and garlic powder. Coat the squid pieces in the flour mixture, making sure they are evenly coated. Shake off any excess flour and place the coated squid on a plate or baking sheet.
Next, heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or a large pan over medium-high heat. Carefully add the coated squid to the hot oil, working in batches to avoid overcrowding. Fry the squid for 2-3 minutes, or until they turn golden brown and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the squid from the oil and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off any excess oil.
Once all the squid is fried, serve it immediately as an appetizer or as part of a main course. These crispy baby squids are great on their own or with a dipping sauce of your choice. Enjoy!
Preparing the Baby Squid for Cooking
1. Cleaning the Squid:
- Start by rinsing the baby squid under cold water to remove any dirt or debris.
- Gently pull the tentacles away from the body of the squid, making sure to remove the beak located in the center.
- Remove the clear cartilage from inside the body of the squid, as it can toughen during cooking.
- Peel off the skin of the squid, which should come off easily. If there are any remaining dark spots or membranes, scrape them away with a knife.
- Rinse the cleaned squid once again to remove any remaining impurities.
2. Tenderizing the Squid:
- Some recipes suggest mechanically tenderizing the squid by scoring the inside of the body in a crisscross pattern.
- Alternatively, you can also soak the cleaned squid in a mixture of milk and lemon juice for about 30 minutes. This helps to tenderize the meat and remove any potential fishy odor.
3. Drying the Squid:
After cleaning and tenderizing the squid, it is essential to ensure that it is thoroughly dried. This step is necessary to achieve a crispy texture when cooking. Pat the squid dry using paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, removing any excess moisture.
By following these steps, you will have properly cleaned, tenderized, and dried baby squid that is ready to be cooked to perfection.
Cleaning the Squid
Step 1: Start by removing the tentacles from the body of the squid. Gently grip the tentacles near the base, just below the eyes, and give it a gentle pull. The tentacles should come off easily. Set them aside for later use.
Step 2: Next, remove the head of the squid. Hold the body firmly and cut just above where the tentacles were attached. Discard the head, as it is not typically used in cooking crispy baby squid.
Step 3: Now, it’s time to remove the guts and ink sac. This is done by carefully inserting a finger into the body cavity of the squid and pulling out any visible organs. Be gentle to avoid tearing the squid’s delicate flesh. The ink sac, which is a dark colored pouch, will also come out along with the guts. Dispose of them.
Step 4: After removing the guts and ink sac, the squid needs to be rinsed thoroughly under cold running water. This helps to remove any remaining debris and ensures a clean and fresh taste. Pat the squid dry with paper towels before proceeding with the cooking process.
Note: If the squid has a thick, transparent layer of skin, you can remove it by gently peeling it off. This step is optional but can result in a more tender and crispy texture.
Removing the innards
1. Cleaning the squid
Start by rinsing the baby squid under cold water to remove any dirt or impurities. Gently rub the squid to loosen any particles that may be stuck to its surface. Once cleaned, pat the squid dry with a paper towel.
2. Removing the head
Hold the squid firmly in one hand and grip the head with the other. Apply a slight twisting motion to detach the head from the body. Set the head aside if you plan on using it for another dish or discard it.
3. Removing the innards
Locate the squid’s ink sac, which is typically located inside the body near the head. Carefully cut around the sac, ensuring not to puncture it, and remove it from the body. The ink sac can be discarded, or if desired, saved for use in other recipes.
Next, locate the tube-like digestive system, it can be spotted as a thin, transparent tube inside the squid’s body. Gently pull on this tube and remove it from the squid. If the squid is large, it may have more than one digestive system, so be sure to check for additional tubes.
Once the innards have been removed, rinse the squid again to ensure that all traces of the innards have been washed away. Now, the squid is ready for the next steps in the crispy baby squid recipe.