How to Cook Tender Cuttlefish

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The flesh of the cuttlefish is wonderful for marinating as it picks up flavors well.
The flesh of the cuttlefish is wonderful for marinating as it picks up flavors well. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Cuttlefish are a member of the cephalopod family and can generally be substituted with squid and calamari in cooking recipes. Although similar, cuttlefish are more tender than squid and more flavorful than squid and calamari. The flesh of the cuttlefish is wonderful for marinating as it picks up flavors well. However you prepare it, the key to cooking tender cuttlefish is to cook it very quickly over very high heat.

Things You'll Need

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Cleaned cuttlefish pieces
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Grill

Preheat your grill to high.

Rinse and trim the cuttlefish body making sure to get rid of any messy or dirty edges.

Cut the cuttlefish body open so that it lies flat. Place the cuttlefish body flesh side up on your cutting board.

Hold your knife at a slight angle and score the cuttlefish flesh half way through to the skin in 1/2-inch strips at a 45-degree angle to the edge of the cuttlefish piece. Repeat until the whole piece has been scored.

Turn the piece of cuttlefish 90 degrees and repeat step 4 in a pattern perpendicular to your first cuts until the whole piece is scored in a honeycomb pattern. This scoring will help the heat penetrate the flesh and cook the cuttlefish more evenly.

Slice the scored body piece into chunks approximately 1 1/2 inches by 3 inches.

Cut the tentacles into 3-inch lengths.

Place all of the cuttlefish pieces into a bowl and gently toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Place each piece of cuttlefish onto your preheated grill.

Flip your cuttlefish after 45 seconds. The cuttlefish is fully cooked when the flesh becomes opaque, which should take 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Tips & Warnings

  • Slice the cuttlefish into thin strips instead of honeycombing it to cook it quickly and add to salads or to serve over pasta.
  • If your cuttlefish is very fresh, skip the grill altogether, marinate in citrus and enjoy some cuttlefish ceviche.

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