Here Are 5 Ways You Can Try To Tenderize Squid

By. Nevanda - 06 Jun 2023

img - As a culinary treasure, squid offers a delightful dining experience. Its tender, white flesh boasts a mildly sweet and delicate flavor. Whether enjoyed as calamari, grilled, stir-fried, or incorporated into dishes like sushi and ceviche, squid's versatility in the kitchen is unrivaled. 

When transformed into crispy calamari rings, it captivates taste buds with its golden-brown, crunchy exterior, providing a satisfying contrast to its tender interior. Grilled squid, with its smoky char and succulent texture, imparts a delightful smattering of flavors. In stir-fries and other savory creations, squid adds a seafood essence and absorbing the season.


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Tenderizing squid meat is important to ensure it remains tender and not chewy when cooked. Here are some methods to help tenderize squid meat:

1.    Gentle Cooking
Squid is a delicate protein that can become tough and rubbery if overcooked. To maintain its tenderness, it's essential to cook squid quickly over high heat or use gentle cooking methods such as stir-frying or sautéing. Avoid prolonged cooking or high temperatures that can result in toughness.

2. Acidic Marinade
Marinating squid in an acidic marinade can help tenderize the meat. Acidic ingredients like lemon juice, lime juice, or vinegar break down the proteins in the squid, resulting in a more tender texture. Marinate the squid for around 15 to 30 minutes before cooking.

3. Enzymatic Marinade
You can also use natural tenderizing enzymes found in ingredients like papaya, pineapple, or kiwi. These fruits contain enzymes (papain and bromelain) that break down proteins and can help tenderize squid. Puree the fruit and use it as a marinade for the squid for about 15 to 30 minutes before cooking.


Read also: 5 Health Benefits You Get From Squid

4. Tenderizing with Salt
Salting the squid before cooking can help draw out excess moisture, which can contribute to a more tender texture. Sprinkle salt over the squid and let it sit for about 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse off the excess salt before cooking.

5. Don’t Stir to Much
When cooking squid, avoid over-mixing or excessive stirring, as this can toughen the meat. Handle squid delicately during cooking to preserve its tenderness.



Remember, squid cooks very quickly, and overcooking can lead to toughness. It's best to cook squid just until it turns opaque and curls. When properly tenderized and cooked, squid will have a tender and slightly firm texture that is enjoyable to eat.


Read also: Snapper Versatility As A Popular Seafood

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