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Nikki P’s simple guide to restaurant-style squid

Scored Squid
Nikkis head shot

“Restaurant-style squid is surprisingly easy on the wallet, as well as quick and easy to make for a healthy dinner or impressive Spring barbecue dish. Simply serve with mayonnaise and lemon wedges, and you have an impressive appetiser or entree. Read on to discover my five easy steps to achieving this delicious squid at home. Your guests are sure to be impressed!”

- Nikki P

Learn how to make tender squid in a few easy steps

Step 1 of 6

Open squid and pat dry 

Using a sharp knife, cut lengthways through one side of the squid hood. Open the squid hood, so the inside surface is facing upwards. Pat dry with paper towels; this ensures the squid won’t stew when being cooked, which can cause it to become chewy and tough.

Step 2 of 6

Score lengthways

Score the inside surface of the squid on an angle with shallow cuts, about 1cm apart, avoiding cutting all the way through. (Scoring the squid helps it absorb flavours from marinades, sauces and dressings.)

Step 3 of 6

Score in opposite direction

Turn squid and repeat scoring to create a crosshatch pattern, avoiding cutting all the way through. This will create a beautiful pattern on the squid hood that makes it look attractive once cooked.

Step 4 of 6

Enhance the flavour

If you prefer plain squid, you can just season the squid with salt and pepper. Otherwise, for added flavour, toss the squid in oil, lemon or lime juice, and chopped fresh herbs, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Drain the squid from the marinade just before cooking, otherwise your squid will stew and become tough.

Step 5 of 6

Cut and cook

Cut the squid into 5 x 5cm pieces to help it to curl easily during cooking. Squid is best cooked quickly and in batches to prevent it overcooking. Toss squid in a little oil, then cook, tossing, in a frying pan or chargrill pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until squid is opaque and beginning to turn golden.

Step 6 of 6

Time to Eat

The end result should be beautifully tender squid, perfect on its own or served in a salad.


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