Plan of action:
- Clean squids
- Shave veggies
- Make yuzu kosho yogurt
- Grill bacon
- Grind spices
- Dredge and fry tentacles
- Grill squids
Ingredients (serves 2-3 people):
- 3 whole squids, a little over a pound
- 1 fennel bulb, shaved on mandoline
- 1 apple, fuji or granny smith, cut into matchsticks, toss with lemon juice to prevent oxidation
- 2-3 easter egg radishes, shaved on mandoline
- 1 small shallot, minced nicely
- 1 bunch pea shoots
- handful of cilantro leaves
- Yuzu kosho
- Greek yogurt
- Kewpie mayo
- Meyer lemon ( or regular )
- 1 thick strip of bacon, 1/2 inch thick
- corn meal ( source )
- All purpose flour
- 2 whole eggs
- whole coriander
- whole black pepper
- smoked paprika
- Salt/ Pepper
- Frying oil
- Olive oil
- It might seem scary, but whole squid from the farmers market is so cheap. It's also much easier to clean then you would think. Also after you make your own, you'll stop wasting money on over cooked, frozen, rubbery- maybe not actually squid calamari at shitty restaurants.
- Okay real step one. Rinse those suckers. Rinse them good. Cold water obviously.
- Next grab the head with one hand, and the body with the other. Twist and separate.
- Optional: Harvest the squid ink. The sacs are hard to miss, very silver and jewel like. They're actually quite beautiful compared to the slimey sea monster its attached it. My squid's sacs were very small, and the yield wouldn't be very much at all, so I skipped.
- Right below the eyes, make a cut separating the tentacles from the rest of the head. Throw the eye ball/ slimey head away. Depending on how far up you cut, there may be a beak. You choke up on the head so the tentacles are still all attached by a ring. If you cut too low, the legs would be separate like noodles. So feel around your tentacle bunch in the center, if there is a hard beak like beak thing, simply punch it out through the hole and remove. Trim away the extra long tentacles so they're uniform. I rinsed the tentacles again because they were still a little gritty and inky. Repeat on the remaining heads, and you should have 3 pretty tentacle tutu's ready for frying.
- Next we need to work on the bodies. There are two flappy bits on the narrow end of the body. We're getting rid of these. Pull them towards the wide end of the body, if its giving you trouble to can start it with a pairing knife, but don't cut into the body. From here, it's very easy to peel away the purple skin. Repeat on the remaining bodies.
- Inside the bodies is a clear plastic looking length of cartilage. It pulls out very easily. Discard these. Repeat on all bodies.
- Almost done! Not so tricky eh? Inside of the bodies there can be literally anything. Goopy, sandy, unknown creepiness. I used the power of running water to rinse and remove a lot of this. There is a giant, well white booger looking jammer in there. Get that out using your hands. You should now have pristine, white tubes free of anything weird.
Yuzu Kosho Yogurt
- 1 cup of greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup kewpie mayo
- 1 T yuzu kosho
- 1 T meyer lemon juice
- 1 t meyer lemon zest
- salt to taste, kosho is pretty salty so go easy
- Mix everything together. Adjust seasoning as needed.
- Put in a squeeze bottle. Put this shit on everything. It's delicious. The next morning for breakfast I made a sandwich with gravlax, radish sprouts, spinach and this yogurt on baguette. It was unreal.
Cornmeal crusting the tentacles:
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- salt and pepper
- 2 eggs
- squid tutu's
- Don't do this too far in advance. Make sure the rest of your mise is ready because from here things move quickly. I would drop these in the oil when you put your bodies on the grill (I used a grill pan since I live in a tiny nyc apartment).
- Mix the dry ingredients together.
- Beat your eggs.
- Toss the bodies in the dry. Dip them in the eggs. Toss again in the dry.
- Get ready to fry!
Bringing it all together:
- Grill pan ( this is the one I use )
- shaved veggies
- lemon wedges
- olive oil
- frying oil / thermometer
- cleaned squid bodies
- dredged tentacles
- kosho yogurt
- Big bowl to mix the salad in
- Grind up 1 t coriander, 1/4 t black pepper, and 1 t smoked paprika all together. Add 1 T of salt. Rub this aggressively on the squid bodies.
- Heat up your grill pan, once hot, get the bacon on.
- Heat up your fry oil to 375 degrees.
- Grill the bacon on both sides, cut into lardons.
- Grill the squid bodies, about 2 minutes per side, do not over cook.
- Take 1 T minced shallot, bacon, handful of peashoots, fennel, apple matchsticks, radish, cilantro leaves and put into a salad bowl. The proportions of each are really up to you. If you like tons of fennel, add more, want more greens? Go for it.
- Drop the tentacles when you put the bodies on the grill. Fry until golden brown and delicious, you know the drill.
- Once the bodies are ready, cut into rings. Toss hot squid in with your salad. Drizzle lemon juice and olive oil on it. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place salad down on place, garnish with kosho yogurt, and give each person a crispy fried tentacle.
- Eat! And have a glass of wine. You earned it.
- Watch Sphere, and happily know you conquered the squid.