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Snackshot of the Day: Squid on a Stick

Snackshot of the Day: Squid on a Stick

Photos of all things food and drink from The Daily Meal

Squid on a stick sold in Old Town in Shanghai.

The Daily Meal's editors, contributors, and readers dig into some pretty great restaurants, festivals, and meals. There's not always enough time to give a full review of a restaurant or describe in depth why a place, its food, and the people who prepare it are noteworthy, so Snackshot of the Day does what photographs do best, rely on the image to do most of the talking.

Today's Snackshot is of squid on a stick in Shanghai. When traveling through China, you'll often see a variety of foods on a stick. As opposed to corn dogs or ice cream (the types of foods you'll see on a stick in America), Asian cities offer a wide variety of meat and fish options. You'll also see bugs, birds, seafood, and even seahorses served up on a stick. Travel with an open mind, and try them all.

Read more about The Daily Meal's Snackshot feature. To submit a photo, email jbruce[at], subject: "Snackshots."

Follow The Daily Meal's photo editor Jane Bruce on Twitter.

Grilled Squid (Calamari)

Although many think that squid is the same as calamari, the truth is that calamari is just one type of squid while what's properly referred to as squid in culinary circles is another. They're technically two different animals, but the differences are slight. In cuisine, their names are commonly used interchangeably, but the truth is that squid present tougher meat, and calamari are wonderfully tender. Even if they're both delicious, if you can get your hands on fresh calamari, don't miss out on the chance to prepare this beautiful recipe with it, although squid will also yield a flavorful result. In this easy recipe, reposted with permission from The All New Good Housekeeping Cook Book, the calamari is flavored with olive oil and lemon juice and then quickly grilled to tender perfection.

Many home cooks avoid preparing squid because of the infamous rubbery texture, but the secret to perfect squid lies in the speed and temperature of cooking. Squid must be either cooked fast over high heat or slow-cooked to achieve the right tenderness. Anything in between results in a chewy mess. Squid is a great ingredient and a nutritious one too: a 100-gram serving of raw squid has barely 92 calories but an impressive 15 grams of protein and beneficial levels of copper, selenium, and vitamin E. If you're looking for great sources of protein but want to keep an eye on your caloric intake, squid is the perfect choice.

Beautiful when raw, a properly prepared sashimi of squid is a flavorful bite. Easily found in the frozen aisle of most supermarkets, calamari can also be bought fresh. Serve these beautifully grilled squids as an appetizer or make them part of a main dish when adding them to a green salad or atop garlic pasta.


It was the word greasy that had us stop and take a look and then we fell in love! But - it is anything but greasy and HUGE on flavor! We also cannot stress enough how easy it was to make and how wonderful it is! This was one of our 7 "fishes" for Christmas Eve and have made it twice since - successful and delicious each time.

Wow, thanks Epicurious for acknowledging a Rhode Island favorite. Um, ya think you could have done so without the negative ‘greasy’ adjective? Having lived in RI all my life I can tell you that I have never seen our fried calamari described this way on any restaurant menu and the only time it’s greasy is when it is cooked incorrectly. Naming this recipe as you did turns the reader off and is ultimately disrespectful to our fine state, which has one of the best food scenes in the country. I expect better from your organization!

Love calamari so I tried this recipe. So tender and flavorful. Cant wait to make this again.

This recipe is a cut down version of the recipe my grandfather brought over from Italy in 1901. My family has been in the fish business as far back as I could trace the family name (since the early 1700) and when grandpa opened up wholesale and retail fish stores in and around NYC he would take any unsold fish home to be eaten over the week-end by our very large family. The calamari was prepared as it is in this recipe, but in addition there were clams, oysters, cuttlefish, shrimp, and octopus. If my father and grandfather felt energetic they would make a seafood salad instead of frying it. My grand kids love coming over to our house to eat over the week-ends, and my kids are great cooks and know how to prepare this meal, but that would break the tradition.

Calamari can be left to marinate in buttermilk for several hours or overnight.

I make this same recipe with shrimp also. Quite good. Got the idea originally from LongHorn Steak House where it's an appetizer.

Had similar Calamari at Point Judith a couple of days ago. I really liked the combination of the hot peppers and the fried breaded calamari. I definitely will be trying this recipe.

I have not made this particular recipe, but then again I do not have to since I live in Rhode Island! This is by far the best way to prepare, serve and eat calamari! This way was introduced to me by a chef in 1987.

Sautéed Calamari with Parsley and Garlic

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Tender squid shine with just a handful of ingredients and a few minutes on the stove. Serve with lemon wedges for acidity and crusty bread for sopping up any leftover garlic-butter sauce. We recommend also pairing with our easy Dill Pickle recipe.

For a behind-the-scenes look at the Brombergs’ cooking philosophy, check out their Q&A with CHOW .


  1. 1 Pat squid dry with a paper towel.
  2. 2 Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat until smoking. Carefully add squid in a single layer, then add butter, garlic, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, until squid is opaque and cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes (do not overcook). Season with additional salt and pepper, and serve with lemon wedges.

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Food52 cofounders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs were nearly stumped when asked for their example of a perfect food for this video. Then they realized that Betsy Devine and Rachel Mark's Salvatore Bklyn ricotta was flawless in every way. Amanda and Merrill were filmed in Bklyn Larder, a great New York store where you can find Salvatore ricotta cheese. Read our profile of Salvatore Bklyn, get our best ricotta recipes, and discover the differences between ricotta and cottage cheese.

Chilled Calamari Salad with Lemon and Parsley


  • 1/4 cup red onion , minced
  • 1/2 cup celery , chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers , chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley , minced (no stems)
  • 1 clove garlic , sliced
  • 1 1/2 lemons
  • 1 1/4 tsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 1 lb fresh squid , tube and tentacles cleaned




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This is a very fresh and delicious appetizer. May I suggest that you substitute “Italian parsley,” for regular parsley. It has a milder, more subtle flavor. But I do like this recipe very much. Thanks for sharing!

Amazing recipe!! I added olives and a little bit of olive oil. It turned out really good and a winner of my picky husband and daughters. This is a keeper. Thanks for another great recipe Gina!!

I love this recipe. I just made it for lunch today.

Can I add scungilli to this recipe? –

I made this today using a bag of mixed frozen seafood from Trader Joe's (contained shrimp, calamari, and bay scallops). It was delicious and so refreshing since it's so hot out. Would also be nice with some orzo and avocado.

I grew up in an Italian neighborhood, and "fish salad" was something you'd often find at some delis. Squid, salad shrimp, maybe some mussels. And sadly, also, fake crab meat. What's sad about the fake crab? I developed a wheat allergy and I can't eat any of the salad if it's got fake crab in it.

This tastes JUST like the stuff I used to buy. I even added some salad shrimp – wonderful.

You DO want to buy your squid already cleaned. Not for this recipe, but recently I bought "uncleaned" squid and I am not squirmish about a lot of food things, but yeah… that was gross. If you can only find pre-cut rings, those would work great. If you're not a lemon fan, switch out the lemon for more vinegar or some white balsamic, etc. If you like fried calamari… do not fear this recipe. 60 seconds, ice bath, and then into the dressing… the squid will turn out perfect.

If and when do you add the tentacles? I don't see them mentioned in the recipe except to set aside but I see them in the picture.

Recipe Summary

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 small lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 pound fresh squid, cleaned, rinsed, and well dried
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a serving bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Stir in the garlic and whole oregano sprigs.

Heat a grill pan over the high heat. (Alternatively, you can cook the squid on the grill.) When very hot, add the squid and char each side for 1 minute. Remove from the pan and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch rings, including the tendrils. Add the squid to the lemon sauce. Crack freshly ground pepper over and serve immediately.

How to Grill Squid: The 2 Tricks You Need to Know

Grilled squid with olive oil and lemon juice is one of those incredibly simple dishes that captures everything I love about coastal Mediterranean cooking—it's economical, uncomplicated, and pristine.* One bite and I'm back on a beach in Portugal, drinking cold vinho verde from the bottle and spearing juicy grilled squid bodies with my fork.

*Assuming your squid is pristine. Accept no less.

For all their simplicity, though, grilled squid are very easy to mess up. Why? Because when you grill squid, forces conspire against you—and no, I'm not suffering from paranoid delusions. Not unlike putting laundry out to dry in a rain shower, grilling squid requires overcoming some very fundamental obstacles, namely that the surface of the squid will only brown once it has dried out enough, but the squid will overcook if it's exposed to the drying heat for too long.

Understanding these two competing requirements—the need to both expose the squid to enough heat that it browns yet not so much that it overcooks and becomes rubbery—is the first step in achieving good results.

The problem is that squid is a very, very wet creature with an incredibly high water content. And as we've discussed before, foods will not brown when there's much water present on their surface.* For the squid to sear and brown on the grill, its surface first has to dry out enough for the Maillard (browning) reaction to take place. But squid is also tricky because there are only two ways that it's good: either cooked for just a couple minutes so that it's still tender, or slow-cooked for at least 30 minutes, which will return it to tenderness. Anything in-between and you'll feel like you're chewing on rubber.

*Unless you're able to raise the temperature of the water above 300°F, which is pretty dang difficult to do without extreme levels of pressure. Since I've never heard of a pressurized grill, I'm going to assume it's not really possible.

To overcome this, you have to take two important steps. First, you have to thoroughly pat the squid dry to remove as much surface moisture as possible, and only then rub it with oil to prevent it from sticking to the grill. Second, you need to cook the squid over blazingly hot coals. This is all about intense direct heat: The hotter the grill, the faster it will drive off surface moisture and sear the squid, all before the squid loses its tender texture.

Squid bodies that are first thoroughly patted dry with paper towels and then tossed with oil are set directly over the hottest part of the grill.

If the grill is hot enough, the squid should start getting grill marks within a minute or two.

Fried Calamari With Red Sauce Recipe

Why It Works

  • Slicing the squid bodies into thicker rings extends the cooking time long enough for coating to brown and crisp adequately, while still producing tender calamari.
  • Milk mellows out fishy flavors, and provides enough viscosity for the dredge to stick to the meat.
  • A blend of wheat flour, cornstarch, and baking powder results in a well browned, light, crispy exterior.
  • A brief 15-minute rest after dredging the squid allows the flour to fully hydrate, ensuring a batter that stays on the calamari and doesn't fall off.

There are few dishes more emblematic of casual American dining than fried calamari. These crispy, succulent strips of squid are easy finger food, perfect for sharing family-style with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.

Fried calamari is a relatively recent addition to the American menu. In fact, it only rose to prominence on American menus in the late 1970s, according to this The New York Times analysis of food trends. Around the same time, in an effort to curb overfishing, state and federal marine conservation programs pushed the restaurant industry to consider adopting squid on their menus. Today, you can find fried calamari pretty much anywhere, like roadside clam shacks, bars, and, of course, at tried-and-true Italian-American red-sauce joints.

And while sharing a plate of fried calamari at a restaurant is how most of us enjoy it, that doesn’t mean you can’t also have fried calamari at home—in fact, as fried foods go, it's pretty easy. The key is in the details: namely soaking the squid before giving it a well-balanced dredging, followed by a quick cooking time, for a light, golden crust and tender squid that's never squishy, grease-laden, or rubbery.

I start by soaking the squid in milk and salt for up to two hours, which mellows out any fishy flavors and seasons the meat. Because of its slight viscosity, milk also helps the flour coating adhere to the squid.*

*Marinating in dairy is said to have a tenderizing effect on meat due to lactic acid. While this technique may work for other meats, I didn’t find dairy to produce any game-changing improvements in the texture of the squid here.

Then, to build a crisp, evenly browned exterior, I opt for a blend of wheat flour and cornstarch. Proteins in wheat flour promote browning, a bit of baking powder aerates the coating, and cornstarch keeps the dredge crisp and mitigates greasiness. That said, the exact ratio is a matter of personal preference. If desired, you can dial down the cornstarch to reduce the crispness (or omit it entirely—the calamari will still be delicious), or increase it slightly for a more crunchy shell. Just compensate accordingly with the amount of flour so that you end up with roughly the same volume of dredge.

Quick cooking means tender squid, so when it comes time to fry, success is largely a matter of maintaining a steady temperature and cooking the squid for just a few minutes. To keep the temperature from dipping too low, the best approach is to start with the oil a bit hotter than you'll really need (around 365°F/185°C) to so that it'll drop into the ideal zone (around 275-300°F/135-150°C) once the squid is added. From there, just use a thermometer and adjust your heat accordingly to keep it in the zone.

Grilled Calamari

1. Rinse squid under cool water. Score the tubes every ½ inch with a sharp knife, but be careful not to cut all the way through the flesh. This will help prevent the tubes from curling on the grill.

2. Place the calamari into a sealable plastic bag.

3. Mix the garlic, chilli flakes, lemon juice, zest and oil in a bowl. Pour the marinade over the seafood. Seal the bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

4. Preheat barbeque to moderate high heat 450°F (232°C).

5. Oil the grill grates to help prevent the squid from sticking.

6. Remove the calamari from the marinade, place on a tray and season with salt and pepper. Discard of the baggie and used marinade.

7. Place the tubes on grill very close together and cover them with foil covered bricks to help keep their full surface on the heat. Cook for 30 seconds on each side.

8. Remove them from grill drizzle with lemon juice. Serve with lemon wedges, arugula black olives and dipping sauce.

Very good. Are used red dried chilies In stirfry instead of the jalapeño. Also added some diced green bell peppers

Delicious. I didn't heat the 5 spice mix in the oven. Just sprinkled it minus the salt on the finished dish near the end. The squid was already salted. next time I will use a whole seeded Jalapeño, or crushed red pepper instead. Served with steamed white rice and sautéed broccoli. Thanks!

I've never made squid until my sister said "what should we do with this squid" today at her party with a bunch of guest already there. I used what we had on hand: chopped the squid, marinated in a little soy sauce with a few splashes of rice wine vinegar, plenty of salt, enough pepper, and massaged that in. Heated some avocado oil with a handful of scallions and a few cloves of chopped garlic, threw in the squid and a few heavy shakes of 5 spice. Once half was white, killed the heat and let the cast iron finish it. Then threw it in a glass serving dish, chilled that in cold water for a minute and boom! Best dish of out of the whole sushi party spread! Super tender and flavorful!

Watch the video: Squids Day Off. Squidwards Sick Daze. SpongeBob (January 2022).