Cuttlefish – simply, but deliciously, prepared to throw on a hot grill. A perfect summer dish.
By Rochelle Ramos
I had actually never eaten cuttlefish up until I met my husband and moved here to Portugal. For those who have never heard of/tried this interesting mollusk (cephalopoda with a shell on the inside), cuttlefish are fairly similar to squid in that they are from the same family, have the same body shape (though a squid is more slender) with tentacles, and the flavor and texture is also similar.
I find cuttlefish to be very similar to squid so the two can be substituted for the other depending on what you can get your hands on, but if at all possible try to get it fresh.
- 5 cuttlefish with tentacles
- couple pinches of salt
- 1 lemon (optional)
- Be certain to clean the cuttlefish well if it still has the guts and ink sac. To remove the spine, grab the bone between your forefinger and thumb and twist towards yourself. This will cut through the hood but should come away with ease (if by chance you have a pet bird of some sort, they apparently love the spine from squid or cuttlefish, so be sure to save it as a treat!).
- Cut the tentacles off the bottom and split the body down the middle if not already done.
- Sprinkle with the salt on both sides of each cuttlefish and tentacles.
- Place the cuttlefish on a grill with hot glowing coals and allow to cook 3-5 minutes on each side (depending on size). If you are using flame or an oven instead of a grill, cooking time may be quicker to keep it from becoming tough.
- Cuttlefish is done cooking when the flesh is white and no longer translucent and if the skin is still on, it will turn purple. Don't over cook as it will be tough!
- Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the cooked cuttlefish and tentacles and serve with a fresh salad!
Rochelle is an Americana cooking, eating, photographing and writing in Portugal. She has a love for real food and learning to make it from scratch. As a new expat, she is slowly learning to speak the language and will soon be able to order more than just a café and pastel de nata from the local pastelaria.