Squid are cephalopods of the order Teuthida, which comprises around 300 species. Squid are strong swimmers and some species can “fly” for short distances out of the water. The skin is covered in chromatophores, which enable squid to change colour to suit their surroundings, making them practically invisible.
Squid are a source of natural aquatic protein. Fresh squid has a high protein content of as much as 16-20 per cent, it is also very low in fat. Being rich in unsaturated fatty acids such as EPA and DHA, besides taurine, it prevents cholesterol, hardening of the arteries and formation of gallstones. Squid is rich in calcium, phosphorus and iron, and is effective in treating anaemia.
The body can be stuffed whole, cut into flat pieces, or sliced into rings. The arms, tentacles, and ink are also edible.
Now, for a recipe.
Salt and Pepper Squid Salad
Squid, cleaned hoods only: 500 gm
Cracked black pepper: half tsp
Sea salt: 1 tsp
Lemon pepper seasoning: half tsp
Peanut oil: 1 tbsp
Lebanese cucumber, sliced thinly (about 130 gm): 1
Green onions, sliced thinly (also known as spring onions): 2
Cherry tomatoes, halved: 250 gm
Roasted peanuts, chopped coarsely: one-third cup
Fresh mint leaves, loosely packed: half cup
Red wine vinegar: 1 tbsp
Peanut oil: 1 tbsp
Method: Cut squid hoods along one side and open out. Using a small sharp knife, score inside of hoods in a diagonal pattern, without cutting all the way through. This will allow the squid to curl during cooking.
Cut each squid hood into eight pieces. Sprinkle squid with combined pepper, salt and lemon pepper seasoning.
Heat oil in wok or large frying pan, stir-fry squid in batches until curled and just cooked through. Serve squid with cucumber salad.
Cucumber salad: Combine cucumber, onion, tomato, nuts and mint in medium bowl. Add combined vinegar and oil, toss to combine.
Executive Chef, Vivanta by Taj - Connemara