Paddock To Plate

How to Clean Calamari

If you find yourself with uncleaned calamari, follow these easy steps to clean and prepare it for cooking!

Matt joined Kiwi White, a local legend in Port Lincoln to go fishing for Southern calamari. After successfully catching one, Matt prepared to cook it, by demonstrating the cleaning process. Here's how he did it:

  1. To clean the calamari, reach inside and pull out the body from just below the eyes.
  2. Trim off the innards and discard.
  3. Then set aside the tentacles to use later in the dish.
  4. Take the wings off by sliding your fingers down the inside of the skin and take off in one piece.
  5. Cut lengthways down one side of the tube, open out and scrape away the rest of the innards.
  6. Cut the tube in half lengthways, then score the inside in a fine crosshatch and cut into rough triangles.

Southern Calamari is considered to be the premier species of its kind. Southern calamari is found near-shore coastal waters from approximately Brisbane, Queensland to Perth, WA. Here are some interesting FOODie facts:

  • Southern calamari is relatively fast growing, short-lived squid, with a maximum age of about 12 – 18 months. 
  • They can grow by up to 4cm each month.
  • Males can reach 50cm in length and females 40cm in length in South Australian waters.
  • Spawning occurs in the shallow coastal waters around the Eyre Peninsula and occurs during Spring and Summer time.
  • The Southern Calamari of the Eyre Peninsula has long, round side fins running almost the full length of their body.
  • The flesh is typically a translucent/pearl white.
  • Fisherman use hand jigged lines to catch the calamari and are put straight into an ice slurry to ‘put them to sleep’.
  • The Southern Calamari of the Eyre Peninsula has a mild, subtle flavour, low-medium oiliness, and is dry with firm texture, which can be tough if poorly prepared. Although, it is generally more tender than most squids.

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