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Sunday, November 22, 2020

Of Squid and Calamari

Your probably know that the rule of thumb for cooking tender squid is to flash fry under 2 minutes or  you would end up with a texture that is tough and rubbery.

Today, I learned something new that is game changing!

I was stir-frying squid when suddenly, I had to answer nature's call!

Dang! I knew I should have gone easy on the hot chili oil in my ramen yesterday!

So back to what I was saying ......by the time I returned to my squid, it had been cooking for more than 2 minutes and no surprise, it tasted like rubber band!

What a waste of good squid!

Surely, there must be a way of salvaging the lunch blunder?

Upon googling, I learned that the secret to cooking tender squid is either to cook it under 2 mins or at least 45 minutes! Anything in between turns it tough and chewy.

I never knew about the second option.

Armed with the new knowledge, I dumped the lunch mishap into my claypot, added coconut milk and curry powder and braised it for 45 minutes.

The result?

Fork-tender squid in a rich and flavorsome curry!

I learned that slow cooking breaks down the squid's collagen so you're left with a soft texture and a stew that's infused with a robust, briny flavour.

From lunch mishap to winner dinner

Interestingly, while I was googling for an answer to my squid conundrum, I also discovered that squid and calamari are not the same! 

image credit - http://www.ralphobenauf.com/blog/?p=427

I used to think that calamari was the Italian name for squid!  Although they are both cephalopods, squid and calamari are two different species. They also differ in price — the more tender calamari costs more than its tougher cousin.

An easy way to distinguish them is by the fins. On a squid, the fins form an arrow shape and these run only for a short distance on the sides of the body. A calamari's fins extend much longer than a squid's, almost all the way down the hood. 

An amazing squid recipe to share.

I am interested to know do you use the fast or slow method when you cook squid?

44 comments:

betty said...

I have enjoyed calamari; didn't realize the difference between them and squid until you cleared that up. I have never cooked either of them but enjoyed both of them at various restaurants over the years :)

betty

Schwabenfrau said...

Hello Veronica, unfortunately I can't have a say, I don't like seafood and I'm a vegetarian and don't eat anything that has eyes, except potatoes.
Still, I want to wish you a good week.
Greetings Eva

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I have only tried cooking squid twice and made such a mess of it I never attempted again. And many restaurants don't have great success either. The best I ever had, by far, was in a small fishing village on Pag Island in Croatia. If I were filthy rich I would fly there for lunch!! And I'd invite you along too!

Hena Tayeb said...

I have tried calamari but never squid. Not much of a seafood eater.. except for shrimp and certain fish. Picky eater over here.

Sandee said...

Many moons ago we had an annual calamari feed. We so loved calamari. We prepared it three different ways and then pigged out until it was all gone. Fond memories.

Have a fabulous day and week, Veronica. ♥

NCSue said...

Interesting, but I must admit I'm not tempted to eat either one. I've tried calamari, and to me it seems like chewing on a tire (but with a bit less flavor). I suspect I may not have had the world's best chef preparing it, but still...
Thanks so much for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2020/11/sleepy-head.html

Lin said...

We don't live in an area that is near the sea, so, no, I have never cooked calamari or squid at home. I've had it a few times dining out, but I'm not really a fan. That's so odd that you either cook it so very little...or so long! Glad I know this now. :)

stevebethere said...

It all looks delicious I have never cooked them but I have had calamari years ago in Spain I loved it :-)

Have a squidtastic safe week 😷😷😷

yonosoymillenium said...

a mi me gustan y si que es verdad que algunos saben a plastico hagas lo que hagas

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I have never cooked squid but buy it in a restaurant. Interesting that time of really fast or 45 minutes.

Cindy Mom, the Lunch Lady said...

My children enjoy calamari, but due to health issues I am unable to eat it. Thank you so much for sharing your post with us over at You're the Star and we hope to see you again soon!

Unknown said...

I'm a picky eater and coudn't cook this and sure couldn't eat it. Glad you enjoyed it though! I'm sure it's good for you. Most things I won't eat usually are!

Natalie said...

Miss Google saved the day :) Thanks for sharing your cooking tips and recipe. #MCoW

Jackie McGuinness said...

I love both but only have it out as my husband hates it, as he does most fish sigh!
Best calamari ever I had outside Athens!!

junie/jesh said...

Once I asked my son and his friend who had both lived in China (in the restaurant in the usa) how squid tasted, and they encouraged me to try it - it was a bland taste and chewy!That was the first and the last time:) But I didn't know it had to do with the cooking time!
Many thanks for enlightening us at All Saesons, and have a great rest of the week! Jesh

An Apel a Day said...

That is good to know. I have to be honest...I've never made it. Living in the middle of the US, the seafood is blah! We don't have any oceans nearby. I've had it, when I've been out to eat. Ate it in Savannah, Georgia, when I lived there. I like seafood though!

Meditations in Motion said...

Wow! I learned 2 things today. I thought calamari is the same as squid and I also didn't know that you could cook squid for along time. I'm glad you could rescue your squid! Thanks for the info!

Zinaida Strinu said...

I don't cook or eat squid and calamari, but the article was interesting and the photos captivating.

Have a fine day, Veronica!

Diana said...

The information is very interesting. I do not eat seafood but I am glad to know these differences, for my general culture.
I wish you a wonderful day! ❤️

XmasDolly said...

Well, not my favorite fish, but it does look yummy! I hope all is well with you and yours. Have a very happy holiday! Happy Thanksgiving! I know I have to be thankful for friends like you! God bless & stay healthy, happy & don't forget that mask! HUGS

Tom said...

...too things that I've never had!

magiceye said...

We learn new stuff every day!

Suzana said...

No ideas about these subjects. I'm glad I found these ideas here. Anyway, the photos are beautiful and interesting! Thank you a lot!
Happy WW!

nancyc said...

I've never made squid, but these are great tips to remember if I do! :)

Sandee said...

Thank you for joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

Have a fabulous Wordless Wednesday. ♥

Catscue said...

Good info, my husband loves calimari, he'll like learning the difference between the two - thanks!

Memories of Eric and Flynn said...

I didn't know they were different either. The only time I had squid it was like elastic bands, so obviously had been cooked too long. I have never been tempted to try it again, but maybe I should.
https://allatseawithme.blogspot.com/2020/11/wordless-wednesday-tectonic-pates.html

carol l mckenna said...

Good for you salvaging the squid ~ as it is quite good when cooked right ~ enjoy ^_^

Live with love each moment,

A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

betty-NZ said...

The things I learn in blogland! I have never eaten squid--nor cooked it--but it is really interesting to know there is another way to do it!

What a fantastic addition to 'My Corner of the World' this week!

handmade by amalia said...

Good to know! I've never tried making squid and calamari only once or twice.
Amalia
xo

Hazel said...

OMG, I didn't even know calamari was a cephalopod! I thought it was squid dipped in eggs and flour then fried, lol. Your post tells me two things: (1) my food vocabulary is sorely wanting, and (2) I'm looking at one of my fave snacks in a new light and with even more delicious respect.

NatureFootstep said...

lol, to be honest I rather see them in the ocean then on my plate. :) Probably because I am allergic to fish :)

aspiritofsimplicity said...

I’m not a big fan of either squid or calamari...at least not for eating. I wasn’t aware that there was a difference.

Kinga K. said...

I like calamari ❤

carol l mckenna said...

Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving ^_^


Live each moment with love,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Dixie @ Arranged Words said...

I’ve never cooked either, so I wouldn’t really know.
And I, too, thought they were one in the same.
Enjoy the weekend...

Phil Slade said...

I too believed that squid and calamari are one and the same thing. Not that I have ever tried to cook either of them. Locally I think we cannot buy the only available one, "calamari" that is both frozen and could be anything. How would we know here in the UK. It's a minefield of misinformation and rip offs. Thank you Veronica for putting us on the right path.

mvmaithai said...

We love seafood, but after learning that squid has the highest cholesterol in the seafood category, we stay away from it. Glad you could salvage it with the curry. It looks delicious, but I'll save those calories/cholesterol for shrimp, lobster tomalley and ice cream.

Rostrose said...

Dear Veronica,
I have to admit, I've never cooked squid myself (only frozen squid according to the package instructions ;-) - but even that very rarely) - we don't live by the sea here in Austria. Therefore it is difficult or expensive to get fresh, good sea fish. I didn't know the difference to calamari either, and the tip to cook the squid for a long time to get it soft after all sounds very helpful!
Best wishes and happy weekend,
Traude
https://rostrose.blogspot.com/2020/11/freie-sicht-auf-hallstatt-salzkammergut.html

Kirsi schreibt said...

Hello Veronica,
I didn't even know that there was a difference - thanks for the Information. I like fish very much, but calamari or anything else not so.
Greetings from Germany
Kirsi

Yvonne said...

Your dinner looks amazing. I've never had squid, but I've have had fried calamari when I lived in Central America, and loved it.

Mellie said...

I have never tried to cook squid myself. It's not a common thing here. I have eaten calamari a few times in restaurants though.

mail4rosey said...

I thought squid and calamari were the same too! I'm glad you found a way to salvage the squid. Smart thinking to research it!

R's Rue said...

Yum