Squid, also known as calamari, can be eaten raw, grilled, fried or stewed, and it has a firm texture with a delicious, slightly sweet flavour. The body is often sliced into rings, battered and fried until crispy, and this is the squid dish most people have tried. However, you can get battered calamari from a pub kitchen, so when you visit a seafood restaurant like Maisie's Seafood & Steakhouse, look out for a squid dish that's a little more special than the seafood version of onion rings. Here are four squid dishes to be on the lookout for:
This is a traditional seafood stew originating from Marseille. The base of the stew consists of a rich bullion made with fish bones and shells. In addition to whole small squid, bouillabaisse contains crab, mussels, lobster and chunks of meaty white fish. Celery, carrots, tomatoes, baby potatoes, fennel and fresh thyme are added to the stew, which is served with crusty bread. Enjoy this hearty stew with a fruity merlot.
Mediterranean Stuffed Squid
For this dish, the body of the squid is stuffed with a mixture of peppers, spring onions, rice, celery, basil and oregano. It's then gently cooked in a tomato sauce until the squid is tender. Mediterranean stuffed squid is delicious with a herby garden salad or steamed greens. This dish pairs well with a dry pinot grigio.
Squid have a sack of black ink that they release to escape predators. This ink is edible and adds a slightly salty, almost umami flavour to this dish. The Arborio rice is cooked in a rich fish stock with lots of butter, garlic and sliced squid. Enjoy this unique dish with a glass of tannic pinot noir.
Thai Squid Salad
This dish is packed with fresh flavours and red chillies to get your taste buds tingling. Cooked squid is tossed in a dressing of fish sauce, lime juice, chillies and brown sugar before being placed on a bed of shredded lettuce leaves, carrot, mint, coriander and red onions. This dish is ideal as a starter or light lunch, and it's delicious with a thick slice of rustic bread generously spread with creamy butter. Enjoy this dish with a citrusy sauvignon blanc.
These are just a few examples of squid dishes that trump good old battered calamari. Check the menu for these dishes the next time you visit a seafood restaurant, or ask your server to recommend a squid dish from their range.