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Is there any real reason to eat squid or octopus?

w
wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 01:28 AM

Are my taste buds completely gone? Or am I missing something?

Squid and octopus, to me, have absolutely no flavor, they impart nothing to me other than the ompression of chewing on a rubber band. If they're eaten for the sauce ... heck, sauce something else the same and I'll actually enjoy eating it.

Agree/disagree?

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  1. HaagenDazs RE: wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 01:37 AM

    #1 if you're eating "rubber bands" you're either not cooking it correctly or eating at a restaurant that does not cook it properly. #2 aside from that, I do think it has wonderful flavor. Mild flavor yes, and it can benefit from a marinade or mild sauce, but I still believe it has value. Try grilling it. I think grilled octopus is one of my favorite seafood items. A bit of parsley, olive oil and some thin sliced chilis and you're good to go!

    1. gridder RE: wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 01:39 AM

      I've had squid in Italian dishes that is to die for -- not rubbery in the least. Charred with lemon, salth, and olive oil. . . Aaaaah.

      (But, if you cook it at home, the oil can get on everything and smell up the house for a couple of days.)

      1 Reply
      1. re: gridder
        jennjen18 RE: gridder Dec 16, 2006 02:00 AM

        I agree with being charred from the grill and lemon. mMmMmMmm.. I can just taste it now. It definitely is not rubbery, if cooked perfectly.. you'd have to send it back if it is. Hopefully they'll do it better, and not yell at you. :P

      2. cayjohan RE: wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 01:40 AM

        I'd have to fall on the side of "disagree." But perhaps you haven't have properly prepared squid or octopus. Cooking time is very important to mind when dealing with the cephalopods. Very quick, or very long and moist cooking; anything else will give you the infamous rubber bands. Way too many restaurants pawn off poorly cooked squid.

        As far as flavor goes: I agree that squid is a very mildly flavored protein, but tasty nonetheless IMHO. I think octopus is marvelous in its delicate sweetness. Try it in a sushi place (order tako) and get a taste of it unsauced.

        1. Glencora RE: wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 01:57 AM

          As Ringo Starr suggested in "Octopus' garden" they collect bright things that fall to the ocean floor and arrange them into "gardens." I think they are amazing creatures. Very other, very mysterious. In Greece, I awoke once to hear them being beaten against the pavement outside my hotel to be tenderized. It bothered me. By the way, I also like pigs, but I eat bacon once in a while because it tastes so good. Giving up octopus is not difficult for me, so I do.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Glencora
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            wayne keyser RE: Glencora Dec 16, 2006 02:53 AM

            Okay, octopuses are cool - but squids are mean and nasty.

            But anyway, I see I'm overwhelmed with "disagrees" ... I guess I have to agree with my spicy-shy wife: "you've burned out your taste buds, dear."

            Thanks, all!

            1. re: wayne keyser
              susancinsf RE: wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 05:41 AM

              Ok, not sure what you mean by 'cool' and 'mean and nasty', but assuming you mean temperment and appearance and not taste, I totally agree with you, and in fact, as a diver, who has spent time with both, I've used the same exact adjectives to describe both! I actually think the taste of both is wonderful (if cooked correctly), but while I eat squid regularly, it takes a lot to get me to eat octopuses, which are intelligent, beautiful creatures.....

              I don't think it is just burned out taste buds, however, as the texture of squid is a pleasure (if done properly), and there is no way it would be described as rubber bands, as HaaganDaz says. You should tell us where you are (don't see it in your profile) so we could direct you to some wonderful squid!

              1. re: susancinsf
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                On_yun RE: susancinsf about 19 hours ago

                Same here. I really like to eat squid but octopus is a little like eating a dog to me. I cheated yesterday though and had a few baby octopus in a salad. Not something I do often and yeah, I used to dive so I know where you're coming from.

              2. re: wayne keyser
                Glencora RE: wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 04:34 PM

                Interesting. Maybe I'll eat some mean, nasty sqid sometime. I think it's offered more frequently than octopus anyhow. At least around here.

            2. m
              MakingSense RE: wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 03:09 AM

              Oh, Wayne, you may never have had it done well. It rarely is in the US because of the ick-factor. When it's not being used as bait, people fry it as an appetizer. Why? Because it is cheap! Or they think it's exotic. Or it's the only way they know to prepare it.
              Adventurous cooks get ahold of it and can't help themselves. They have to DO something - anything - to it. It has a hole so they stuff it. Or add something. Spices, chiles, sauces. And this is one of those foods where simplicity is best. The more you do, the worse off you are. It covers up the sweet, delicate flavor.
              Give an octopus to a good cook and say, "I'll let you have salt, pepper and olive oil. And when we sit down, maybe some lemon and parsley. Now fix lunch!"
              With the simplest ingredients, it can be boiled, grilled, fried, sauteed. Just don't do a lot of fussy stuff.
              You'll get a good meal.

              I agree that it can be hit or miss however. I had the fritto misto at Johnny's Half Shell in DC last week. The squid was tender but tasted of nothing but the fried coating. The tiny whole octopus was perfection. Both on the same plate!

              1. h
                hugglyj RE: wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 05:08 AM

                definitely disagree. both squid and octopus are quite tasty, although i do prefer my squid in sushi. by itself it's slightly sweet and almost a crunchy consistency.

                calamari is one of the best dishes out there when it's done well. how about trying your local/regional board to find out where to get some good calamari? maybe you could check out some places and see if they don't change your mind.

                1. f
                  fooddude37 RE: wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 05:57 AM

                  While I've paid more than I should have for some quite good octopus and squid dishes in L.A. absolutely nothing compares to the octopus I had in Follonica, on the west coast of Italy. Tender, fresh, flavorful, in fact all of the seafood I had there beat any seafood restaurant I've ever been to in the states, at a small fraction of the cost. This particular restaurant was cheffed by 4 older Italian women and was located right above where the boats came in with the catch.

                  I had octopus sashimi once and found it practically inedible. This was at The Hump, what some consider one of the top (and more expensive) sushi restaurants in L.A. Flavor was good, extremely fresh. Was impossible to break down with chewing so I basically had to swallow it whole in order to respect the chef.

                  So I don't blame you for your conclusions, but yeah, as you can see by the general consensus, you can get some great stuff out there.

                  1. h
                    Hue RE: wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 02:23 PM

                    Blasphemy
                    There is a local Greek restaurant here in Baltimore(Ikaros) that makes a fried squid that is wonderfull. Good squid needs to be either cooked quickly(fried) or cooked over a long period of time(in a sauce). Squid in a ceviche is also a favorite of mine.
                    On the otherhand I have always found octuus to be on that "rubbery" side. It always is tough to chew

                    1. f
                      fascfoo RE: wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 03:34 PM

                      I love squid and octopus.

                      Sure they don't have much flavor on their own, but neither does chicken.

                      It's a mild flavored protein that needs to be cooked properly to bring out it's very unique texture and I can think of a million dishes that wouldn't work without it.

                      1. rabaja RE: wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 03:51 PM

                        Braised octopus in rose is one of the best savory dishes I've ever had the pleasure of eating. The meat takes on a creamy texture that is far from rubbery.

                        1. z
                          Zabalburu RE: wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 04:04 PM

                          Not to hop on the bandwagon, but yes, Wayne, it is your fault!

                          Actually, seriously, I like octopus but do always find the texture a little unsettling -- the suction cup, the layer of fat between the skin and the meat -- so I could see why you wouldn't like it.

                          But squid should be very easy to eat if cooked properly. As for sauces, try finding a place where you can get skid in its own ink. Its the perfect sauce for squid and really only goes well with skid. Or try black risotto (made with skid and ink).

                          As for skid being mean, I understand that some species are suspected to be cannibals, which could be considered a sign of nastiness, though that may be a judgmental, speciesist point of view.

                          1. z
                            zin1953 RE: wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 04:07 PM

                            "rubber" = poorly cooked

                            Squid, like escargot, is a wonderful vehicle for whatever its sauce/preparation.

                            1. b
                              butterfly RE: wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 04:08 PM

                              Given the quality of the octopus (both the ingredient and the preparation) in the US, I would say you are right. It is almost universally horrible (even in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese restaurants, where they should know better). I'll make a small exception here for a handful of Japanese restaurants where I had decent octopus with flavor.

                              Here in Spain octopus is delicious. A completely different experience. I'm not exaggerating when I say the worst octopus that I've had here is better than the best that I had in the US. If octopus doesn't have flavor, it is because the ingredient is of bad quality.

                              And if you are only experiencing squid as "bands" (certainly frozen) then I suggest trying preparations of whole squid. Squid, like shrimp loses most its flavor when it is frozen. If you still don't like it after you know that you've had it fresh, then you'll know you just don't like it and can move on...

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: butterfly
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                                Zabalburu RE: butterfly Dec 16, 2006 04:21 PM

                                Having had 99 perecent of my octopus in Spain I agree with you, butterfly, except for some grilled octopus I had at a Cape Verdean restaurant in Boston called Cesaria. I was sceptical about even ordering it, but it turned out to be delicious, with a perfect texture.

                                1. re: Zabalburu
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                                  Jeda RE: Zabalburu Dec 19, 2006 02:22 PM

                                  I back this - the grilled octopus at Cesaria is awesome - I didn't know octopus could be that tender, and so delicious, and charred and lemony and garlicky, all at the same time. mmmmm.

                                  1. re: Zabalburu
                                    tatamagouche RE: Zabalburu Apr 25, 2010 11:44 AM

                                    Wow, I don't know how I missed this old post, but I must give it up for anyone who gives it up for Cesaria.

                                    I agree with everyone else: squid and octopus, braised, grilled, fried, raw, or in just about any other form are wonderful, so long as they're cooked (or otherwise prepared) properly.

                                    1. re: tatamagouche
                                      Veggo RE: tatamagouche Apr 25, 2010 12:00 PM

                                      The best 'ceviche mixto' in Mexico typically has shrimp, conch and octopus, delicious. The grilled octopus with a mild chili dry rub at Negrosal in Playa del Carmen is practically worth the trip.

                                  2. re: butterfly
                                    susancinsf RE: butterfly Dec 16, 2006 05:04 PM

                                    I hate to admit this, given my feelings about octopus, but I tasted a great dish of whole baby octopus braised in a spicy tomato based sauce, at La Ciccia, a Sardinian restaurant here in San Francisco. (what can I say, it was part of a set menu, looked wonderful, and on the West Coast octopus is a sustainable seafood, but I still felt guilty. It was fantastic, however).

                                  3. Das Ubergeek RE: wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 06:00 PM

                                    I love both squid and octopus -- ceviche without octopus isn't right to me, and either critter thrown onto a blazingly hot grill for barely thirty seconds a side, then dressed with lemon, EVOO, a bit of garlic and some fresh oregano, and it's heaven.

                                    1. h
                                      HLing RE: wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 06:02 PM

                                      You haven't had a good version, yet. After all these replies it appears that you'll have something to look forward to....

                                      Some of us in NY may remember the grilled baby octopus on a stick in Flushing: tender and silky, and flavorful!

                                      Someone in the post talked about the suction cups on the legs..I have to say that those don't have to be strange tasting, unless they're imporperly cooked.

                                      Last week I had the best Octopus legs on a stick in Mongkok in Hong Kong: the suction cups were all grilled to a...I don't know how to describe it except maybe 'powdery crisp'? (Don't know how they do it, but it seems that HK is good with crisps and flaky things, like the shells for egg tart and the fried fish skin) It didn't seem to have much sauce on it, but was just so delicious! It wasn't tender like baby octopus, but it wasn't tough, either...great flavor!

                                      Wish I could have more.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: HLing
                                        Das Ubergeek RE: HLing Dec 17, 2006 02:04 PM

                                        Ha! I'll bet you went to the same stand I did -- because I remember thinking, "Who knew suction cups could taste so good?"

                                        They had great "honeycomb waffles" too.

                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                          h
                                          HLing RE: Das Ubergeek Dec 17, 2006 05:56 PM

                                          That would be something....but you know? I'm glad you replied with the remark about honeycomb waffles...because when i had the octopus there, I think I saw the stands with the waffles, and then I went either around the corner or further down, where the stand was bigger and had more offerings...I got one stick of octopus legs, a serving of Stinky Tofu on a stick, and then a small cup of curry scungili. By the time I finished my food I had wandered off and was browsing inside some electronic store. I thought to go back and get a couple more of those octopus legs, but I couldn't find them any more...I'm pretty sure it wasn't the stand next to the waffles, as I did pass by them the second time...I was sort of disappointed (i was devastated!)and tried to think back, remembering that there was a Hui Lau San on the corner(strictly on a corner, not the one that's on the block)but couldn't find IT either...

                                          Well, a long winded way of saying, "it's good to know that the other stand also had good grilled octopus legs.."

                                      2. monku RE: wayne keyser Dec 16, 2006 06:04 PM

                                        Diet of squid and octopus is similar to that of crabs and lobsters. Shrimp, fish, etc...

                                        Taste of squid and octopus is not that far off from that of crab and lobster.

                                        1. j
                                          jcanncuk RE: wayne keyser Dec 18, 2006 03:37 AM

                                          OMG grilled octopus is one of my FAVORITE things. Jimmy's in Panama City, Panama does a grilled baby octopus that makes my mouth water. Also, the measure of a good Greek resto is the quality of their "oktapodaki". Fresh octopus (& squid) ceviche can also be amazing. Many places cut off the outer part of the suction cups except on the babies so it's really not gross.

                                          My MIL is not an adventurous eater, I watched her finish an entire plate of oktapodaki at Philinos in Montreal once.....

                                          1. amandine RE: wayne keyser Dec 18, 2006 06:56 PM

                                            hey let's not forget that food isn't just about taste! taking a hint from Asian cuisine, texture and consistency can be just as pleasing. i'll order squid or octopus at a restaurant first if i'm craving the texture, and second if the preparation appeals to me.

                                            and yes, there is NOTHING like grilled octopus seasoned with greek oregano, lemon juice, and olive oil in Greece!!

                                            1. hooliganyouth RE: wayne keyser Dec 18, 2006 07:18 PM

                                              Grilled baby octopus is excellent - UCHI has tako pops that are worth every cent. Baby octopus sashimi is one of my favorites - there's a Korean sushi joint in town (Austin) that has them.

                                              Squid? Pshaw! What about calamari? All battered and deep fried and tasty with a bit of lemon juice and a spicy marinara sauce to dip them in.

                                              The only reason I could have a problem with eating them is the fact that they are really alien looking. Like a friend says about crustaceans, "Boy the first guy to eat one of those must have been really hungry."

                                              1. notmartha RE: wayne keyser Dec 19, 2006 02:26 AM

                                                I like both squid and octopus, but don't really like them in sushi.

                                                Nothing beats a great fried calamari, and the Korean spicy grilled baby octopus is one delicious treat. Lastly, I love pasta in squid ink sauce - they tasted like the essence of the sea.

                                                Unfortunately it is hard to cook them properly.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: notmartha
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                                                  Peter Cherches RE: notmartha Jan 16, 2007 02:16 PM

                                                  I've never liked the texture of raw squid, but I love octopus sashimi. They're very different.

                                                  1. re: notmartha
                                                    Dommy RE: notmartha Jan 30, 2007 12:25 PM

                                                    Yes!! The Koreans know how to do Octopus... Baby Octopus Kim Chee is one of my favorite things in this world...

                                                    --Dommy!

                                                    1. re: notmartha
                                                      tatamagouche RE: notmartha Apr 25, 2010 11:45 AM

                                                      I disagree that it's hard—it's just a matter of timing. It should be very quick (that's what makes people nervous) or very slow.

                                                    2. E Eto RE: wayne keyser Dec 19, 2006 02:11 PM

                                                      I went all the way to Fukuoka, Japan to eat squid, and wasn't disappointed.
                                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/351402

                                                      1. johnb RE: wayne keyser Dec 19, 2006 11:57 PM

                                                        Wayne
                                                        Susan Lindeborg, who unfortunately no longer lives/cooks in the DC area, used to do a grilled squid when she was at Morrison-Clark that was as close to TDF as I've ever hit. This gives me an idea--Gillian Clarke at Colorado kitchen worked under her. I wonder if Gillian knows how she did it and could do it too. It would be worth asking about, and even one so jaded as you would have to admit he actually did understand how squid could be good. I do recall it was much like several have described the Mediterranean approach in this thread--olive oil, lemon juice, etc.

                                                        1. xianzhong RE: wayne keyser Jan 16, 2007 02:39 AM

                                                          you're eating squid and octopus for the texture more then anything...and it shouldn't be rubbery. You either cook it quickly for a few a minute or so by deep frying, sauteing, or grilling, or cook it for hours allowing it to stew and soften...nothing in between.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: xianzhong
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                                                            Peter Cherches RE: xianzhong Jan 16, 2007 02:15 PM

                                                            That's a rather presumptuous statement. I don't eat anything for the texture more than anything. I eat octopus & squid for the flavor.

                                                            http://petercherches.blogspot.com

                                                            1. re: Peter Cherches
                                                              c
                                                              carmelita RE: Peter Cherches Feb 12, 2010 10:58 PM

                                                              While European-origin food cultures prioritise flavour, many Oriental cusines, as far as I understand not being an expert, prize texture for its own sake.

                                                          2. rworange RE: wayne keyser Jan 16, 2007 02:50 AM

                                                            Well, yes and no.

                                                            Like escargot they are neutral foods that are good vehicles for things like breading or sauces. They don't detract and they add texture ... depends if you like that particular texture.

                                                            My opinion is that escargot is an excuse to eat butter. I did have some undressed escargot topping a salad ... uh, they were fine ... sort of garden-y tasting.

                                                            As far as calamari, when I first moved to the West Coast, fried clams weren't really available. So calamari gave me the same fix as clam strips without the clam flavor. I like the texture. I like the breading. I've had some really good calarmari without breading too, but again it was mostly texture.

                                                            1. j
                                                              jdub1371 RE: wayne keyser Jan 16, 2007 05:39 AM

                                                              In addition to fried calamari rings, I also like a breadcrumbed and sauteed calamari "steak."

                                                              Here in San Francisco, a Greek restaurant called Mezzes does octopus cooked in tomato sauce (with maybe a whisper of cinnamon in there...?), served over ditali. OMG, so excellent. The octopus gives the sauce a bit of a briny flavor, like mussels do, only dropped down an octave. The octopus itself is pleasantly al dente (like fried calamari), definitely not rubber bands.

                                                              1. orangewasabi RE: wayne keyser Jan 16, 2007 03:06 PM

                                                                does anyone else find properly done, fresh squid to be slightly sweet? yet octopus slightly savory i.e. more meaty?

                                                                1. c
                                                                  chriscroom RE: wayne keyser Nov 3, 2007 09:43 AM

                                                                  Dear Wayne,

                                                                  Learn how to cook, silly. They aren't rubberbands and shouldn't be too chewy when cooked properly. You need to go to the island of Crete and try octopus (octopoli) sauteed in its own ink. There's no better octopus preparation on earth. All you do is skin the animal or beat it against a rock after cleaning it and reserving the ink sack, cut the tentacles into manageable pieces, throw a little light olive oil into a pan until it gets quite hot, and throw in the tentacles and ink at the same time as you throw in salt and pepper (you won't need much salt, though, as the ink is already salty). Then, the moment the tentacles curl up (and no later), you remove them from the pan, and reduce any liquids you may have left to pour over the tentacles. Garnish with curly or Italian parsley and a lemon wedge, although the lemon really isn't necessary.

                                                                  As for squid, if it's a big calamari, you have to tenderize it, just like you would abalone (another delectable treat from the ocean that has been revered for thousands of years, which is also rubbery when improperly prepared). A lot of calamari steaks come pre-tenderized these days. Little squids don't need as much pounding, but you do have to peel their skin off and clean the "quill" and guts out of the body before flash-sauteeing or frying. But if you remember to start with the oil in the pan as hot as possible, and remove the cephalopods as quickly as possible, you'll avoid the rubbery texture. Cook them hot and quickly! And, their meat always does have a flavor--it's just very delicate, so keep your ingredients few.

                                                                  We're eating a lot more squid these days than 50 years ago because we keep fishing down the food chain, because there's nothing left in the ocean (squid used to be by-catch and thrown overboard, and now people actively fish for them). That would be the best argument to use not to eat these critters; not that they're flavorless. Tofu has even less flavor, but you eat that from time to time, right?

                                                                  1. monalisawoman RE: wayne keyser Nov 3, 2007 09:53 AM

                                                                    1) Spicy BBQ Squid at a GOOD korean restaurant is mouth-watering.
                                                                    2) Salt & Pepper Squid at a good chinese place is delectable.
                                                                    3) The Fried Calamari Salad at Asia de Cuba is also pretty good. It has bananas, which makes for an odd but yummy combo.

                                                                    1. bitsubeats RE: wayne keyser Nov 3, 2007 08:24 PM

                                                                      whoa whoa whoa (:

                                                                      like a few other posters here, I highly recommend taking baby octopus, marinading them in garlic and some gochujang. My mom did this for the first time last summer when did our out door korean grilling and we both loved it. It was very simple and the texture was awesome.

                                                                      how about korean or japanese dried squid? I love the whole dried kind from korea. I run it lightly over my gas stove or sometimes boil it in some water for a few minutes. It goes really well with lots of hellman's mayo. My mother brought back 20 dried squid for me from korea and they are almost all gone.

                                                                      1. TSQ75 RE: wayne keyser Nov 5, 2007 07:08 AM

                                                                        sometimes eating is as much about texture as it is taste...

                                                                        done right, squid, or calamari, is tender and delicious...not rubbery at all.

                                                                        1. o
                                                                          ospreycove RE: wayne keyser Apr 24, 2011 11:34 AM

                                                                          A.P. Bell in Cortez has local, (frozen) Octopus in stock. The reason the Stone Crab season was poor was the invasion of Octopus, the only predator of the Stone Crabs. The crabbers now are saving the Octopus and bringing them to the dock, instead of killing them and dumping them in the Gulf. They are frozen whole and raw, so it gives the cook a lot of options!!!!!

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: ospreycove
                                                                            sunshine842 RE: ospreycove Apr 26, 2011 03:18 PM

                                                                            No kidding? Wow -- I live in the Bay Area for 25 years and there's no fresh octopus, but as soon as I leave, they mob the place. Figures.

                                                                            By the by -- one of the greatest dishes I've ever had was grilled cuttlefish in Barcelona...a BIG cousin of a squid. Olive oil, a little salt, and banged on the grill, then back to me. Delicious, and enough to share with a few friends.

                                                                          2. a
                                                                            AdamD RE: wayne keyser Apr 24, 2011 11:45 AM

                                                                            As others have said, properly made squid and octopus are not rubbery.
                                                                            While the flavors are subtle, they are there. Add some squid rings to your pasta sauce at the last minute and tell me they dont impart any flavor. Octopus is trickier.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: AdamD
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                                                                              ospreycove RE: AdamD Apr 24, 2011 01:31 PM

                                                                              Adam. I like to boil Octopus in herbed, salted water, then wipe off the "Skin" with a clean terry towel and then it is ready for most preparations, saute, cold salads, and in sauce. My fav is to have Octopus as part of a Fruta de Mare marinated salad as a first course. Light and refreshing for the hotter days ahead!!!!

                                                                              1. re: ospreycove
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                                                                                AdamD RE: ospreycove Apr 24, 2011 01:59 PM

                                                                                Thanks, that sounds delicious. How long do you cook for? What I meant is that it is a bit trickier to get the texture of octopus just right. At least for me. Its not something we do that often, so I dont get much practice.

                                                                                100% agree that one of the best ways to use both squid and octopus is in a cold preparation that is lightly seasoned/dressed.

                                                                                1. re: AdamD
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                                                                                  ospreycove RE: AdamD Apr 24, 2011 02:23 PM

                                                                                  For raw whole octopus about 1 lb each, minus the head sac; I drop them in the seasoned boiling water for about an hour or less, pierce with a small knife and it is done, (for me, a little chewy but not rubbery) when the knife meets little resistance. Then it is ready for almost any other recipe

                                                                            2. Casalbordino RE: wayne keyser Apr 26, 2011 07:24 AM

                                                                              What you ate were simply over-cooked. I cleaned and fried 6 lbs. of squid for Easter - not a piece leftover. Stuffed - they are to die for.

                                                                               
                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Casalbordino
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                                                                                ospreycove RE: Casalbordino Apr 26, 2011 02:52 PM

                                                                                Casalbordino, Yes, I agree for Squid either a flash boiling under 3 minutes or a long simmer, or frying renders a nice product; Boiling in between a flash or a long simmer gives a rubbery product.
                                                                                As for Octopus, which I am refering to, you need a good time to get it tender, with or without the "wine cork" as some old Nonnas swear by. I am not familiar with deep fried Octopus, I have prepared grilled, but it is boiled first and finished on a grill with seasonings. The old legend of beating it against a rock, etc. does not seem to make it any nore tender, only gets the flesh a bit destroyed!!!

                                                                              2. chefathome RE: wayne keyser Apr 26, 2011 06:23 PM

                                                                                Love 'em both and seek them out specifically on our Mediterranean European travels as when they are done well, they can be simply amazing. Squid ink pasta and risotto can be wonderful as well. When they are super fresh (i.e. caught two hours ago) and grilled, well, what can I say? Divine. Stuffed squid bodies are also yummy. My favourite parts are the tentacles as they get crispy and crunchy and oh, so perfect.

                                                                                1. steve h. RE: wayne keyser Apr 26, 2011 06:43 PM

                                                                                  Napa & Company in Stamford, Connecticut makes the best grilled octopus I've had in the last year or so: slightly charred on the outside, moist and sweet on the inside. Excellent.

                                                                                  Marea, Central Park South in Manhattan, has a stuffed squid that is memorable.

                                                                                  Both meals make me want to go back. Finding the time will be difficult but that's a classy problem.

                                                                                  1. tommy RE: wayne keyser Apr 27, 2011 05:05 AM

                                                                                    Octopus has plenty of flavor. Not to mention a wonderful texture.

                                                                                    1. sunshine842 RE: wayne keyser Apr 27, 2011 05:16 AM

                                                                                      I suppose the question could also be asked "Is there any real reason NOT to eat squid or octopus?"

                                                                                      It'd be nearly the same question.

                                                                                      It sounds like you've never had it prepared fresh or correctly, and I hope you withold judgment until you've had the chance to try it done correclty.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842
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                                                                                        ospreycove RE: sunshine842 Apr 27, 2011 06:20 AM

                                                                                        Sunshine.....Amen Amen!!!!!

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                                                                                        Pikangie RE: wayne keyser May 29, 2014 07:51 PM

                                                                                        I love both.
                                                                                        When I go to the asian market, I like to buy the big Octopus leg and then use a fork and just eat it like that.
                                                                                        It can be tough to chew sometimes, but shouldn't be like rubberband, and should taste good.

                                                                                        You can also try "octopus salad" in Japanese restaurants, that makes the octopus in a way that it has more tangy flavor from being marinated. They tend to be small pieces in it so it is easier to eat too. I think that is my very first experience with octopus too, when I was 4 or 5.

                                                                                        Squid should be easy to bite down on at first, but with a bit of toughness when you try to pull it away. Nothing really hard though.
                                                                                        Cooked squid might be tougher than raw, but raw might be slimy for most people. I love both, especially raw.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Pikangie
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                                                                                          Feed_me RE: Pikangie May 30, 2014 01:16 AM

                                                                                          Just happened to be looking at this thread. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this way of cooking squid. Many years ago my dad used to go out on sport fishing boats here in southern California. The boats had a live bait tank and sometimes when the fishing was bad people like my dad would raid the tank as they returned to port. Sometimes it was squid. My mom (who no longer cooks) used to cook them whole in a teriyaki style sauce. Anyway you could eat pretty much all of the squid save the hard "eyeball" like thing in the center of the tentacles and the 2 clear almost plastic-like membranes that ran the inner length of the squid body. The outer body tube was pretty tender and almost chicken like in it's consistency. She used to do something similar with barracuda (when you used to be able to catch them locally). The barracuda meat is really white when cooked. Anyway, we'd eat either with rice. We sometimes also ate squid sashimi.

                                                                                        2. YAYME RE: wayne keyser May 30, 2014 05:20 AM

                                                                                          Nope, I don't eat it because octopus is my spirit animal. The only intelligent animal I'm eating is a pig.

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                                                                                            genoO RE: wayne keyser May 30, 2014 05:36 AM

                                                                                            I am sure all the experts will say different but in my opinion, you nailed it.
                                                                                            I live on the coast and have tried to find a redeeming factor for decades. It's just protein. If they really had a good, or any, flavor it would be grilled with a bit of salt and pepper.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: genoO
                                                                                              sunshine842 RE: genoO May 30, 2014 04:33 PM

                                                                                              I had cuttlefish in Barcelona prepared exactly that way. It was sublime.

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                                                                                              thanhxle RE: wayne keyser Jul 23, 2014 01:00 AM

                                                                                              If anybody who does not really know what squid / octopus flavor taste like or say they are supposed to be flavorless. I highly recommend getting dried whole squids (usually you can get these easily in asian markets). Grill them over charcoal, shred them sideway (along muscle fibre arrangement). These dried squid shreds concentrate the essence of the squid in a dynamic, power burst of ocean taste. Something you will NEVER forget... the deep deep sweetness, multi-dimentional flavor you just can not get with any other seafood items. If you are not hooked, discount me.

                                                                                              1. SWISSAIRE RE: wayne keyser Jul 23, 2014 02:24 AM

                                                                                                In the right culinary hands, and with Garlic and Lemon, grilled baby octopi come out tasting like shrimp.

                                                                                                More mature octopi have a sea-like essence when cooked as a pasta sauce.

                                                                                                My vote is Yes-for-Octopus.

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                                                                                                  Clams047 RE: wayne keyser Jul 23, 2014 02:53 AM

                                                                                                  Are you sure you're not eating clam strips? Fits your description exactly.

                                                                                                  Calamari - RI's offical state appetizer - http://tinyurl.com/qfk44u7

                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Clams047
                                                                                                    SWISSAIRE RE: Clams047 2 days ago

                                                                                                    No, quite sure, grilled baby octopi.

                                                                                                    Greek style.

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    1. re: SWISSAIRE
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                                                                                                      ospreycove RE: SWISSAIRE 2 days ago

                                                                                                      Looks like there may be some "rings" that indicates Squid bodies, look great though!!!

                                                                                                      1. re: ospreycove
                                                                                                        SWISSAIRE RE: ospreycove 1 day ago

                                                                                                        Hi Ospreycove-

                                                                                                        You might enjoy this video.

                                                                                                        Gennaro Contaldo (in London) with a quick Seafood Linguine, using baby octopus.
                                                                                                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tx7Q3...

                                                                                                        Gennaro is the other half of the " Two Greedy Italians " BBC series, found in their entirety on Youtube.

                                                                                                        Both he and Antonio Carluccio featured a hunting-cooking segment in the Valtellina alpine region above Lago di Como that my wife and I have been visiting for about 30 years.

                                                                                                        Cookbooks developed from this series are also online for purchase.

                                                                                                        1. re: SWISSAIRE
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                                                                                                          ospreycove RE: SWISSAIRE 1 day ago

                                                                                                          Swissaire,
                                                                                                          Thanks for the tip on Gennero, his youtube recipes look Veryfun good!! Thanks, again,.......

                                                                                                          1. re: ospreycove
                                                                                                            SWISSAIRE RE: ospreycove 1 day ago

                                                                                                            My pleasure, Osprey.

                                                                                                            You might find the Two Greedy Italians series on Youtube even more fun, especially the octopus scene in the boat.

                                                                                                  2. greygarious RE: wayne keyser 1 day ago

                                                                                                    Since this thread is again active, there IS a good reason to eat at least one type of squid, the large, aggressive Humboldt squid. Its territory has expanded, and it decimates native populations of fish and smaller cephalopods. There's not much North American market for them so far, but they ARE consumed in Europe and elsewhere. It would be sound stewardship of seafood resources to dramatically increase the harvesting and consumption of Humboldt squid.

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                                                                                                      westsidegal RE: greygarious 1 day ago

                                                                                                      1) can Humbolt squid be harvested without killing off everything in it's area as by-catch?

                                                                                                      2)if so, and if there is any westside restaurant in los angeles that prepares it, i will buy it.

                                                                                                      1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                        greygarious RE: westsidegal about 17 hours ago

                                                                                                        According to Wikipedia, they are caught at night, when lights from fishing boats attract them to the surface. They can easily be as large as a human, so that's a lot of potential calamari steaks! Try googling for restaurants and markets that offer it.

                                                                                                        1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                          sunshine842 RE: greygarious about 11 hours ago

                                                                                                          there was a fascinating program on a few years ago about them -- I think it was National Geographic.

                                                                                                          They had amazing footage of a mating cluster -- thousands of enormous squid, all flashing from red to white.

                                                                                                    2. Atomic76 RE: wayne keyser about 20 hours ago

                                                                                                      I've never had octopus, but I love squid. I used to be completely grossed out by the thought of eating both. But once I finally tried squid, as well as saw how to prepare it fresh, I really enjoy it now. What I like about squid in particular is how "clean" it is relative to other animals/creatures. Pretty much almost the entire squid is clean white edible flesh. All you do is slide off the outer thin shell, trim off the "beak" and the ink sack, and remove the "spine" - which looks like a plastic feather. No veins, intestines, and other gross organs, no fur, scales or feathers, etc...

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                                                                                                      1. re: Atomic76
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                                                                                                        Hue RE: Atomic76 about 12 hours ago

                                                                                                        Atomic..ya gotta admit if that ink sack breaks..you gotta a powerful smell on your hands!!

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