Years ago Chris began cooking fresh squid against the will of all the folks who think of squid as “fish bait”. He learned that the trick to tender squid is to cook it super hot and fast, and to choose smaller more tender squid. When done properly the texture is amazing, and it is a surprisingly light and refreshing dish that can be served as an appetizer, or easily whipped into a salad or other dish.
- Select fresh squid without a strong fishy smell. Asian markets often have fresh squid on ice. Long fat squid are tougher, shorter thin squid are the most tender. I have found 6-7 inches is a good length for the body.
- Clean under cold running water by pulling on the tentacles gently to pull most of the guts out of the body.
- Remove the stiff clear cartilage that looks like a piece of plastic and any remaining innards.
- Cut the tentacles off just above the “eye” where the squid ink is, and reserve. (The body has a thin membrane that should be removed, and this can be done simply by pulling it off with your fingers.)
- Mix marinade ingredients together, and marinate bodies and tentacles in marinade for between 1 hour and overnight.
- Mix sauce ingredients together and reserve.
- Prepare grill for direct grilling over a VERY hot fire. To prevent squid from falling through grate, use a perforated pan or two grates turned perpendicular to each other. When you cannot get your hands anywhere near the fire, it is hot enough!
- Using long tongs and gloves, sear squid bodies and tentacles for approximately 30-45 seconds per side. Sizzling, popping and whistling is normal!
- Sauce each side cooking an additional 15-20 seconds per side to char sauce.
- Remove, slice into thin rings immediately, and serve.