Fresh Monterey Bay Squid at Frank’s Fish Market in Salinas
Yesterday I stopped by Frank’s to see what local fish might be available. It’s the best fish market for this around. Besides live crabs, he had petrale sole, sardines (!), rock fish, and Monterey Bay squid, as well as some farmed examples. It had been ages since I cooked squid, a long-lasting aversion stemming from an episode of cleaning 20 pounds of calamari, but these were so gorgeous and fresh, I gave it a whirl. The whole squid were $2 per pound; skinned tubes and tentacles were $4 per pound; and tubes only, $4.50 per pound. I bought the whole ones, figuring that if I was going to overcome my phobia I needed to dive in completely.
Getting them home, they were indeed as pristinely fresh as they looked and good size. No scent at all to the three-pound mass of squid. My mother started to work on them, and had already pulled off the tentacles and beaks and rinsed out the ink before I noticed her. I did help finish off removing the quill and sacks and peeling the tubes. For dinner I cooked the squid tubes ala plancha, and a teensy drizzle of light soy sauce and a few dots of sriracha sauce highlighted the very sweet and clean flavor. The rest of the tubes were cut into one-inch wide rings and poached along with the tentacles, then marinated overnight for a squid salad.
This six dollars worth of squid was enough low fat, high quality protein for two meals for the two of us, and we still have some remaining. My mother, of course, remembers when our local squid was only 25¢ per pound, yet she appreciated the economy of my seafood choice.
Frank's Fish Market
16 Station Pl, Salinas, CA