8 Helpful Tips for Cooking Squid and Calamari

Avoid rubbery squid by using proper cooking times

Fried Calamari
Rarin Arnamnart-EyeEm/Getty Images

The squid has nothing to brag about when it comes to looks. Indeed, it has been the antagonist in many a monster movie. As ugly as it may be to gaze upon, this sea creature brings a delightful touch of the ocean to your dishes at an affordable price.

Squid and Calamari Cooking Tips

  1. Squid must be cooked either a very short time or a very long time. Anything in between turns it into rubber. Two minutes over high heat is plenty. Beyond that will require at least 30 minutes to an hour to re-tenderize it.
  1. 12 ounces whole squid or 6 ounces cleaned = 1 standard serving.
  2. One 6-inch squid weighs about 4 ounces. Measure the body, excluding the tentacles, and make 5 inches or less your goal for quick-cooked and larger for long-cooked.
  3. Those weighing less than 10 ounces are the most desirable for tenderness. However, if you are looking to harvest the ink, you'll want squid longer than 5 inches.
  4. When purchasing uncleaned squid to use in a recipe that specifies cleaned squid, you will need approximately 25 to 50 percent more. Up to half the body weight can be discarded during cleaning.
  5. For squid that is cooked quickly, plan on 1/4 to 1/2 pound per person. For long-cooked dishes, count on at least 1/2 pound per person to allow for shrinkage.
  6. Parboil the squid by dropping it into rapidly boiling water for no more than one minute. Plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Drain well, cut as desired and marinate in your favorite dressing.
  1. Conch or abalone can be substituted for squid in most recipes. The flavor and texture are very similar.