How to clean cuttlefish: we explain how to clean the cuttlefishin a simple and effective way. A scissor and a lot of delicacy are enough not to break the “bag of cuttlefish ink”.
If you are wonderinghow to clean cuttlefishknow that, during this procedure, you will find yourself with "two precious materials", thecuttlefish inkand thecuttlefish bone. Both used in different sectors. If you are not a particularly curious person, skip the two preliminary paragraphs and go directly to the fourth paragraph entitled how to clean cuttlefish.
1. Sepia ink
Between the entrails of thesepiathere is a blister containing a black liquid. This liquid is released from its bag and dispersed with the aid of a jet of water emitted from a special siphon. The black cuttlefish liquidit has this characteristic color because it is rich in… melanin.
Once upon a time, thecuttlefish inkwas used as ink (along with squid blue), today, thecuttlefish inkit is widely used in cooking. Once extracted, you can keep the squid ink in the coldest part of the refrigerator to use it to prepare a good risotto with squid ink or to color fresh homemade pasta.
2. Cuttlefish bone
Inclean the cuttlefishyou will find yourself having to extract the cuttlefish bone, in reality, what we commonly call "cuttlefish bone" is an internal shell. This shell is calcareous and consists of 80-85% of calcium carbonate and phosphates. Dried, it is used as a food supplement for birds raised in captivity, especially during egg production and mating.
3. Difference between cuttlefish and squid
Squid and cuttlefish are both very popular cephalopods in Italian cuisine. The cuttlefish that we find on the market frozen generally comes from the Atlantic, while if you go to your trusted fishmonger, you will probably buycuttlefishof the Mediterranean Sea.
The squid you find at the supermarket can come from different areas: from the North Sea to the West Coast of Africa, it is also fished in the Mediterranean.
How to distinguish a squid from a cuttlefish?
These two animals are very different and easy to distinguish.
The cuttlefish has an oval shape, has 10 tentacles like the squid (also the cuttlefish has two longer tentacles) but has a flattened central bone and a large vesicle containing the "cuttlefish ink".
The squid has a more elongated body. Like cuttlefish, it has 10 tentacles, two of which are longer. The lateral fins reach more than half of the sacs while the cuttlefish has no lateral fins.
4. How to clean the cuttlefish
Here we are finally at the central question of the article.How to clean a cuttlefish?First, you should do it on a large cutting board and wear gloves. This way you won't end up with nails smeared with cuttlefish entrails that don't exactly smell good!
How to clean the cuttlefish
- Put on the gloves and place the cuttlefish to be cleaned on the cutting board
- Cut the cuttlefish with a pair of scissors, cutting the ventral side lengthwise.
- Remove the tentacles and innards.
- Separate the entrails from the tentacles and carefully remove the black blister.
- With the tentacles and innards removed, keep the cuttlefish open to portfolios and cut to remove the bone.
- Remove the skin from the back.
- Take the part of the tentacles and remove the eyes and the beak which are placed in the central area.
- Wash the tentacles and the rest of the cuttlefish.
- If you intend to save it for other recipes, wash the cuttlefish ink bladder and immediately place it in the coldest area of the refrigerator.
The bag containing the cuttlefish ink can be set aside and used for other recipes, the bladder of the cuttlefish ink is placed with the other entrails but it is easy to distinguish as it has a more brown color. If during the incision you also broke this bag, you will end up with a cuttlefish completely smeared with black, so rinse it quickly under running water and continue the operation as described in the previous instructions on how to clean the cuttlefish.
5. How to use cuttlefish ink
The cuttlefish ink, before being used, must be passed through a very tight mesh strainer, in this way you will be able to eliminate any residual sand.
Remember to buyfresh cuttlefish, especially if you intend to use its black liquid. If you don't intend to use the liquid very tightly, you'll want to keep it in the freezer. Yes, the black liquid, once sieved, can be stored in the freezer.
How to use it? For risottos or to flavor soups and fish sauces, to color fresh homemade pasta or to make a mayonnaise-based sauce to be served with shellfish, fish or to be used in tufts to enrich seafood salads. Spaghetti with squid ink are perfect with a sauce based on white sea sauce!