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What, exactly, is a Calamari Steak?

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I just ran into this terrific looking recipe for Lemon Pepper Calamari Steaks http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo....

I have some whole cleaned calamari from Trader Joe's in the freezer at home. What, exactly, is a calamari steak? Is it just the body of the squid, without the head? Do I leave the body whole, or cut it down the side so that it's in one layer?

Please help -- I'm dying to cook this, but I want to make it right. I have squid fear... anxiety that my squid will not be tender if I don't cook it right.

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  1. It's simply the body of a rather large squid split and laid flat. Some have been tenderized, but not the ones I buy from my grocery store. I've seen them trimmed into rectangles, and I've seen them simply split.

    1. squid is a very lowfat protein, best teated like game. that is cooked *very* fast or very slow. squid is also awesome raw.

      easy and delicious is tossed in olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper and cooked briefly on grill or griddle, just until the slightly translucent white turns opaque. weaving it a few times onto a soaked or metal skewer can help keep it from curling.

      2 Replies
      1. re: appycamper

        you can also lightly cut a diamond pattern on the flat surface to help prevent too much curling (and it looks kinda cool)

        1. re: BeeZee

          Lightly scoring the surface with a knife is a better term but I'm just being picky. Cutting might imply cutting through and item which isn't what you want. The reason I comment on this is because I like to do the same thing.

      2. One of my favorite things is Calamari dore... so good.
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/mem...
        this recipe needs about 1/2 cup of white wine.

        I've never tried Trader Joe's frozen calamri, please let us know how you like it..thanks!

        2 Replies
        1. re: chef chicklet

          Wow, so it's a calamari milanese essentially, right? Looks delicious. Does it really take two cups of flour though, in your experience?

          1. re: dmd_kc

            nooooo I just was looking around for a recipe. That seems like a heavy batter, which is not my preference for anything. The lemon sauce can only be improved with a tablespoon of capers however. Milanese.... now I've had chicken m, and veal m, that dish includes mushrooms right? Either way would be very good. Fresh parsley and lemon zest would be good additions too.

        2. Calamari steaks are usually known as "Grande Calamari" (or sometimes, "Humboldt Squid"). It is the squid body cut into segments and flattened. Many cooks will limit the natural curling by diagonal cuts on the outside of the body. The thin membrain when heated will contract and cause curling. Some cooks also lightly pound the steak with a tenderizing mallet, but gently. It is critical to cook VERY fast, about one minute each side, if that. Not a bad idea to test one steak to see how long is ideal.