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Squid is often used in recipes for dishes such as pasta and soup. It may also be fried in hot oil or stir-fried with vegetables and rice. According to SelfNutritionData, squid is high in protein, selenium and vitamin B12; however, it is also high in cholesterol. Preparing fresh squid for cooking requires removing the head, tentacles, skin and innards, such as the ink sacs. If your recipe calls for squid ink, save the ink sac. You may also wish to obtain additional squid ink, as many squid do not contain sufficient ink.
Place the squid on a large cutting board. In order to prepare a squid, you need to learn the major parts of its anatomy. Locate the fins, which are triangular-shaped and opposite each other at one end of the squid's body. The opposite end of the squid is the head. Directly below the head, in the squid's main body area, are the gills. Between the gills lies the ink sac, which is attached to the squid's liver.
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Cut off the two tentacles in front of the squid's eyes. Use a very sharp kitchen knife. The two tentacles are separate from the squid's eight arms, which lead off the front of the head.
Pull the head of the squid off. You may be able to accomplish this with just your hands. By pulling the head off, many of the squid's innards should come out as well. If you were unable to pull the head off with your fingers, cut it off with a sharp kitchen knife. Cut at the “neck” area where the head joins the body. Set the head aside.
Look for the ink sac within the squid's innards if you have managed to pull the head off. The ink sac is silvery-black and is connected to the liver by membranes. Gently pull the sac off the liver with your fingers, taking care not to break it. Squid ink can stain your skin and clothing. If you are using squid ink in your recipe, place it in a cup and set it aside for later. If you cut the head of the squid off rather than pulling it off, reach into the squid's body between the two flaps of skin. Use your fingers to gently pull out all the innards you find. After you've pulled out the liver and ink sac, separate them.