TT Plated: Squid

Why squid deserves a place in your seafood rotation

Thanks to the ubiquity of fried calamari, squid has been unfairly condemned to an overly greasy, tomato-sauced reputation.

No longer: It's time to enjoy this sustainable cephalopod--and its murky black ink--in more ambitious ways. So we looked to our favorite chefs across the country, who are grilling, frying and braising and stuffing squid with delicious results (click here to see a slide show).

For a weekday meal, a salt-and-pepper squid from Heaven's Dog in San Francisco turns traditional calamari on its head, introducing the arresting flavors of pineapple, cilantro and jalapeño chiles (click here to see the recipe). For a weekend meal, land and sea coalesce in a spicy chorizo-stuffed squid created in our Test Kitchen; ocean-kissed and meatball-like, it's perfect as a starter or served with a salad for a main course (click here to see the recipe).

For experiments in your own kitchen, remember that cooking squid requires proper technique to keep it from turning into something comparable to a rubber tire. Cook it low and slow or sear it quickly over very hot heat and your squid will be tender and showcase all there is to love about this creature of the sea.

  • Squid: Lukshon, Los Angeles

    In this gorgeous dish at Sang Yoon's Lukshon in L.A., squid bodies serve as tender, edible casings for house-made Thai-spiced sausage.

  • Squid: Heaven's Dog, San Francisco

    At this pre-Prohibition cocktail destination in San Francisco, fried squid is given a Chinese twist. After a dip in the fryer, it meets pineapple, cilantro, toasted garlic and jalapeño chiles (click here to see the recipe).

  • Squid: Clyde Common, Portland, Oregon

    At this hipster haven in Portland, Oregon, Chris DiMinno bathes squid in a red-pepper marinade before searing it and serving it in his signature fideos dish. (Photo: OurFoodShed.com)

  • Squid: Lyon, New York City

    At his bouchon-inspired restaurant, chef Chris Leahy gives his charcuterie program a seasonal bent with specials such as the striking squid terrine, which he pairs with late-summer corn and tomatoes. (Photo: Michael McCarthy)

  • Squid: Uchiko, Austin

    An artful plate of grilled squid served with a curry-apple gastrique, Korean pepper, green apples and lemony sorrel has been a staple dish at sushi master Tyson Cole's contemporary Austin restaurant, Uchiko, for years. (Photo: Rebecca Fondren)

  • Squid: Tavolata, Seattle

    At Ethan Stowell's popular Belltown restaurant Tavolata, chef Brandon Kirskey anchors squid with Italian flavors such as Corona beans and the bright flavors of Fresno chile and peppery arugula. (Photo: Clayton Christopherson)

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