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Giant squid, whole - OmManiPadmeOmelet

Pic supplied by Om - Preparing squid
Whole squid
Pic supplied by Om - Preparing squid Pic supplied by Om - Preparing squid
First cut. Lift the mantle and cut off the head and tentacles at the base. This is a bit messy and will require rinsing afterwards as it cuts thru the stomach.

Next, cut off the tentacles at the bottom of the head. Sometimes, depending on where you cut, you may miss removing the beak. It's easy to see and feel and can be removed separately.

Normally, tentacles are cooked in one piece but these are so large, I later cut them apart into separate ones prior to cooking.

Pic supplied by Om - Preparing squid
Pic supplied by Om - Preparing squid Pic supplied by Om - Preparing squid
Next, skin/peel the squid. Loosen the skin using your fingernails at the front/top of the mantle, then it peels off usually in one piece if you are careful. The fins have to be peeled separately.
The squid is now ready to be gutted. The easiest way to do this is to squeeze it hard, starting at the bottom and working towards the top, just like a tube of toothpaste. It's a good idea to do this over the sink. Pic supplied by Om - Preparing squid
Pic supplied by Om - Preparing squid

This step gets most of them. A second step to finish removing entrails is done after removing the "spine".

Squid have a clear chitin "spine" running up the back. This is quite inedible and must be removed.

In a large squid like this one, find the spin insert and make a small cut with a paring knife underneath it, then grasp it with your fingernails and pull. In fresh squid, it will pull out intact.

With smaller squid, it can just be pinched with the fingernails and pulled out easily

Once this is done, the squid can then be turned inside out to finish removing any remaining entrails. Pic supplied by Om - Preparing squid
Pic supplied by Om - Preparing squid Pic supplied by Om - Preparing squid
All done! The tentacles are usually cooked as is and the body tube is usually sliced into rings, breaded and deep fried, or stir fried or braised.

The body tube can also be kept intact, stuffed and grilled or braised. There are a number of ways to prepare squid.

My personal favorite is lightly coated and deep fried. Since I don't use a batter or breading, the oil/grease retained is minimal. In this case, I just wet it with water and dredged it in spiced rice flour, then deep fried for 2 minutes. I then served it over marinated Shiratake noodles.

Pic supplied by Om - Preparing squid