Calamari Surprise

So, sometimes I forget that when you’re Greek and you ask a relative (in this case, my Papou) to bring me some fresh seafood, there is a very good chance that that seafood will have lots of extra parts still attached.  It sort of reminded me of the time I made my first turkey…lots of surprises.
Now, it’s bad enough that these little critters still had their heads and feelers attached and I had to cut them off.  But little did I know, you also have to stick your finger inside of their slimy little bodies to detach their, well, their guts.  AND pull a quill out.

Of course, I’ve never done this before.  DH usually cleans all the fresh stuff.  But not this day he didn’t.  He was working and I thought I was defrosting a bag of octopus, which required nothing except some cutting because I already made sure the head was gone before I agreed to cook it.

So, I did what any twenty-first century girl would do.  I YouTubed ‘How to Clean Calamari’.

The video was very helpful and I followed the instructions and began cleaning my bowl of calamari.

Now, just in case you find yourself in this same exact situation one day, I want you to be prepared.  That’s why I paused after every step and took photos.  You can thank me later.  With chocolates and good wine.

First, clean all of the calamari.  Then lay one across your cutting board.  See those two extra long squiggly things?  (see photo above) Those, my friend, are it’s feelers.  Cut them off and discard.

Next, you’re going to cut the little tentacles off.  You cut right under the eyes.

Here comes the fun part.  Ready? Flip the tentacles open and there is an eyeball in the center.

Squeeze it out from the top where you cut.  Yes.  I’m very serious.  There are eyeballs involved.

Now, locate the V shaped piece…

If you run your finger along the edge, you’ll feel the quill.  Remove the entire thing.

Then, stick your finger inside and carefully detach all of the skin that is stuck to the outer part.  Once it’s loose, pull on it to remove all the guts.

Lay the calamari flat and squeeze out any excess dye that might be left inside.  If it feels like there’s something stuck in there, don’t worry, just keep squeezing.  You might get lucky like me and find…

Looks like this one didn’t have enough time to digest it’s lunch.

That’s it.  Now, you can grill them or cut them into rings to fry or however you want to cook them.

After all was said and done, I’m glad I learned how to do it.  I don’t think I’ll be as squirmish the next time. DH smiled from ear to ear with pride (aka amusement) when he realized what he missed and I had a pile of eyeballs and a dead fish that couldn’t have made the boys prouder.
Some of you might find this funny and have probably done things far beyond this and if you have, you’re a better woman than I am.  But I have one question for you.  When are we having dinner at your place?  🙂

3 thoughts on “Calamari Surprise

  1. What a fun surprise!!! And good for you for making calamari… I would never even attempt that, plus I'm not sure any of us would eat it anyway! (Such bad Greeks, I know!!!)

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