Northern Calamari


northern calamari

Squids have a light, subtle taste and a high recovery rate, and are firm yet tender. Cuttlefish flavour is mild.
To produce tender cephalopods, cook them quickly (for less than 2 minutes) over a high heat, or slowly simmer or braise. Their ink can darken sauce or colour pasta, and they can be used on skewers and in tempura and pasta sauces.
Squid is popularly served as deep fried rings (often called calamari). The squid is sliced into rings, or kept flat and scored diagonally, crumbed, deep fried and served with tartare sauce but try chilli jam instead.
Squid can be coated in sea salt and cracked black pepper, seared very quickly on the barbecue over a high heat, and served with a mixture of lime juice, palm sugar and tamarind.
Stuffing squid is a versatile method of preparation. Olives, onion, parsley and breadcrumbs make a good base then the options are endless. Poach in a court bouillon for added flavour and serve with capsicums, capers, fennel, tapenade and a reduction sauce of the squid ink, if desired. Due to its texture, squid is also suitable for casseroling.
Cuttlefish requires quick cooking if the flesh is not to become tough. It can be stuffed and grilled whole

Tenderise squid and cuttlefish with raw papaya or kiwifruit in milk 2-4 hours before cooking.

Oiliness Low to Medium
Moisture Dry
Texture Firm
Flesh Colour Translucent to white
Price These are low-priced molluscs. Calamari is higher priced than others, with Gould s squid the lowest priced.
Edibility Flesh of the mantle, fins, arms and tentacles, Ink, used in soups and great for colouring and flavouring Spanish-style risotto and pasta Heads of small squid, which can be used for dishes such as seafood marinara and in salads

Suggested Wines
Squid rings with tartare sauce are best accompanied by a youthful riesling.
With squid served seared and spicy, offer full-flavoured chardonnays to combat the forcefulness of the tamarind, sugar and lime mixture.
Subtle wines such as colombard or chenin blanc complement cuttlefish.

Cooking Ideas

Bake   Deep Fry
Grill/barbecue Poach Raw
Shallow Fry   Steam/microwave

When Caught

Cuttlefish: year round
Gould s squid & southern calamari: year round, with peak supply of Gould s squid from February through May
Northern calamari: year round, with peak supply over winter. Various fishery closures occur.
Squid: year round

Important Features

Wild/Farmed Wild
Habitat Saltwater
Recovery Rate Flesh: 80% of total weight

Northern Calamari Research

FRDC provides a comprehensive search of the latest research papers and images on Northern Calamari


Asian (e.g. Japanese and Vietnamese) squid products include smoked squid rings, dried and shredded squid, and cheese and squid sandwiches, and are available canned, fried, smoked, boiled, pickled in paste or vinegar, and stewed. Spain manufactures squid products canned in oil and marinated in tomato or squid sauce.

ImportsAsia: squid tubes and whole, dried and shredded squid (various species) New Zealand: arrow squid (frozen whole and tubes), imitation squid rings USA: small Californian squid

Overseas Names
J: aoriika

Alternatives AlternativesCuttlefish and squid can generally be used interchangeably.

Grading Grading can vary by supplier and region. An example of grading systems for squid is presented below.

When referring to squid tubes, terminology such as U-10 or U/10 is pronounced under ten and refers to the number of tubes per kilogram (in this case, fewer than ten tubes per kilogram). 10 – 20 is pronounced ten twenty and means that there are from 10 to 20 tubes per kilogram.

Nutrition Facts
per 100g of raw product

Kilojoules 328* (78* Calories)
Cholesterol 104 mg
Sodium 285* mg
Total fat (oil) 1.0 g
Saturated fat 42% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 7% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 51% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 71 mg
Omega-3, DHA 289 mg
Omega-6, AA 16 mg

Data presented are for Gould squid. – *unconfirmed identification