The cuttlefish is not actually a fish, but rather a relative of the squid and octopus that has no bones, and is known for its dense muscles and connective tissue. Cuttlefish is not a common ingredient utilised in the U.S. but if your recipe calls for it, you can find it fresh at some grocery and speciality stores, but more often it is available in frozen form. Cuttlefish are frequently used in Mediterranean and Asian cuisine, and are often flash fried, or stewed for a long period of time so that the flesh is not tough and chewy.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Sharp knife
- Frying pan or large pot
- Cooking oil
- Papaya, pineapple or kiwi juice
- Additional ingredients (depending on your recipe)
Clean the cuttlefish thoroughly before cooking if you are using freshly caught product that has not been processed. This will include removing the beak and any hard cartilage inside the cuttlefish. If you are using frozen product, this will already be done, and you only need to defrost it.
Cut the cuttlefish into 1-inch to 2-inch bites with a small sharp knife before cooking. Like the squid, cuttlefish have long tentacles, which will be much easier to cook and consume once cut.
Tenderise the flesh of the cuttlefish before cooking by combining it in a bowl with juice from a papaya, pineapple or a kiwi. These acidic juices will help to break down the enzymes as well as infuse the cuttlefish with additional flavour.
Fry the cuttlefish in an extremely hot pan with oil, or over a preheated grill for three minutes or until the flesh is opaque - if you are looking for a quick way to cook with this ingredient. This technique cooks the cuttlefish before the connective tissue has time to harden, which results in a tender final product.
Combine the ingredients for your soup, stew other recipe in a large pot with your cuttlefish if you have more time to cook, and want a more tender cuttlefish. Allow your ingredients to simmer for at least an hour or more, depending on your specific recipe. Find a cuttlefish recipe that incorporates other flavour profiles that you enjoy such as red wine, garlic, onions, and even olives. You can use your imagination and make this ingredient into a variety of different dishes.
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