squid to a seine like a moth to a flame
If you’ve been just about anywhere along the coast of California in the evening you’ve probably seen it… those spaceship looking, brightly lit boats out on the water at night. Yep, those are the ones. You may have been captivated by those lights just like them little squid are. Those are seine boats and if you are a California seine boat fisherman then chances are there’s been times when you’ve raked “IN-SEINE” amounts of dough off those little light-loving squid.
What we’ve got is the Monterey Bay, über sustainable, Market Squid to be exact. The funny thing about squid is, although they are fished all over the world, they have the tendency to sometimes show up concentrated in only a few spots. California seine fishermen can make upwards of $100,ooo per night if the squid are in and they’re on it. Electronic fish locators are used to find the money spot, the lights go on, the squid can’t resist the light, and they get scooped up into what is called a purse seine. I have to say, I am such a fan of The Monterey Fish Market in SF, owner Paul Johnson is someone whose work I greatly admire and I feel he’s right on when it comes to deciphering & understanding fish sustainability issues. Anyhow, I frequent their website for resources. Here is their wonderful illustration and description of the purse seining fishing technique. There is little to no bycatch with purse seining and our local fishery is healthy and well-regulated. Win win win win win, all day (night) long.
So, onto cooking ’em… a few things; no wait…let’s back up – cleaning them. First things first. You will find them at our booth/CSS whole, head on. They are FRESH and fresh squid are actually really hard to come by. You almost always find them frozen. Because they are fresh and whole they NEED TO BE EATEN. It has been a long time policy of H&H to guarantee all fish purchased from us to last at least 2 days in the fridge but sometimes in the spirit of “Adventurous Foodies” we offer up things with a shorter than normal shelf life. PLEASE COOK, CLEAN, OR FREEZE your squid the day you get it. If you want to clean them day 1, cook them day 2 that is fine. Okay? So…cleaning. Check it before you wreck it. Here’s a nice step-by step break down.
Alright, now for cooking. Squid must be cooked either a very short time or a very long time. Anything in between turns it into rubber. Two minutes over high heat is plenty. Beyond that will require at least 30 minutes to an hour to re-tenderize it. Hans usually just throws it into any kind of stir-fry concoction he has going on. They can be added to so many dishes just to infuse the dish with some nice flavor of the ocean. KISS. You know what I mean? 30 seconds, that’s all it takes.
I am going to link several recipes for you on this one. Please forgive me. It’s late and we start the SF FERRY PLAZA MARKET in the morning, rolling out at 4:30 am to be exact. (<— not a complaint.) However I spent a good hour scouring the best recipes out there. You know I try to keep it light, mostly Paleo(ish) but of course it’s calamari, so I’ve got to throw in a good fried squid recipe. I did find that most recipes that aren’t for fried calamari are some type of soup (yeah you know me – I’m a “souper”fan) or salad. All of which look amazing so I am linking quite a few. If you are going to follow a recipe, since I haven’t adapted them already for our customers, remember when purchasing uncleaned squid to use in a recipe that specifies cleaned squid, you will need approximately 25 to 50 percent more. Up to half the body weight can be discarded during cleaning.
Please let us know if you try any out and love any of them. I am going to do one of these recipes Sat night. Better yet, share it for us all to see here.
Truly, that was the best I could do narrowing them down. They just all look amazing and are all different. For my Paleo enthusiasts, all but the last recipe are Paleo-friendly.
Thanks! Enjoy the abundance of the Monterey Bay squid. I’m moth to flamin’ to my bed right now. Night.