If you’re squid is not pre-cleaned, you’ll have to clean it yourself. We think everyone should learn to clean squid for the times when Monterey squid is in season. It’s simple: Lay out one squid on a cutting board, and cut off the tentacles just below the eye. Hold the head firmly in one hand, and with the other hand, grasp just under the head and pull out the rest of the body. Use the edge of the knife blade to scrape off the skin and push out anything remaining inside the head of the squid, then locate the stiff piece of cartilage inside the head and the beak at the center of the tentacles and pull both out.
Rinse your cleaned squid well and you’re all set. You can leave the squid whole for grilling or cut them into rings for fried calamari or a pasta dish. If you’re still unsure about the process, we’ve posted a video tutorial below.
We use a utility knife to clean squid. It’s just the right size for the job. This knife is our go-to since it holds a sharp edge for a long time, but we also own and love this one.
Get Recipe: Squid Salad with Grilled Lemons