Glossary - Ingredients



In Japanese, squid is called "ika". Japanese common squid or flying squid (surume-ika in Japanese) are in season from spring through to late autumn. Japanese spear squid (yari-ika) are in season from winter to early summer. The small-size firefly squid (hotaru-ika) are in season during the spring.



Squid are low in calories and contain both protein and fat. They also contain the healthful fatty acids EPA, DHA and amino acid taurine.


Fresh squid have vivid reddish-brown torsos that are hard and plump and suction cups that will still attach. Peel off the skin and remove the innards, store in a refrigerator and use up quickly. Squid can be stored frozen as well.

Cooking tips

Fresh squid are recommended for eating raw (sashimi-style) and in dressed dishes such as salads. This seafood is also suited for use in simmered, deep-fried and steamed dishes as well as pasta and more.

Cooking Basics

Squid - clean and prepare

1. Pull off the tentacles

Taking care not to tear the innards, pull the tentacles and innards away from the body.

2. Remove the quill (cuttlebone)

Pull out the quill or cuttlebone (thin, clear sliver of cartilage) inside of the body. Remove any remaining innards inside of the body by scraping with a knife, then rinse with water and dry off.

3. Remove the wings (ears)

Place your fingers into the wings (or ears) and part attached to the body, from here pull the wings off of the body.

4. Peel off the skin

Starting where you removed the wings, peel off the skin by peeling around and off sideways as opposed to lengthwise. If you use a dry paper towel to grab onto the skin it will not slip in your fingers and peeling off will be easier.

5. Cut open the body

When cutting into rings is not required, cut open the body. To do so, fold over at the part where the wings were attached, lay your knife down sideways inside of the fold and slice open.

6. Prepare the tentacles

Place your knife blade just below the eyes and cut away the tentacles and innards. Place your knife into the cylindrical part and spread the tentacles, remove the hard beak and eyes. Scrape off small suction cups with your knife blade and cut away large ones.

7. Remove the ink sac

To prepare salted squid guts and grilled squid guts, gently pull the ink sac away from the innards.

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