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Squid Cleaning Guide

Hope you enjoy the Squid Cleaning Guide! Don't forget to also visit the Squid Recipes and Cleaning Squid Forum and the Squid Recipes & Cooking page.

For additional information on cleaning methods, check out the Squid Cleaning and Cuttlefish Cleaning topics in the Squidfish Forums. Also, the The Tantalizing Squid publication contains instructions on cleaning market squid which are commonly caught in the State of Washington, USA.

Squid can be fairly messy to clean but it doesn't have to be that way!! The key to NO MESS is to not bust the INK SACK!!! Thankyou to Jane of Second Valley Caravan Park for the following cleaning method:

Step 1  Firstly, don't remove the head straight away!!! You need to remove the transparent spine (or quill) by running a finger along the inside of the mantle, being careful not to grip too heavily in the middle (thus busting the ink sack) but instead holding it by the tip or carefully by the base of the mantle.

Step 2  Next, grab the head, while holding the tip of the mantle and PULL!!! Most of the guts will come out in one neat pile (including the ink sack which is the green/pearly bit).
gut removal
The following photo gives a close up of the pearly ink sack.
The ink sack is to the left of the eyes!
ink sack

Step 3  Next you need to remove the wings and skin. You need to make an incision with a knife along one of the wings. Then run a finger under the wing from the tip to the base of the hood. It should then peel like an orange, with the skin coming off in one piece, including the other wing.
remove skin

Step 4  To give the mantle a final clean up, turn it inside out and remove any remaining gunk.

Step 5  So you are left with two clean wings and a clean mantle. Enjoy!!

Step 6  And if you were wondering, YES I eat the legs too! I don't bother trying to remove the skin though. Don't forget to "pop out" the squid's beak (similar to the beak of a parrot!). The beak should easily come away from the surrounding legs and can be discarded.

Last Modified: 3 August 2006