Squid, although delicious, is challenging to cook. Because squid becomes extremely tough and unpleasant when cooked incorrectly, many people don’t dare to cook squid at home. However, those who do, have many options to consider. One of them is whether or not you should boil squid before frying it.
When cooking squid, you have one of two options. Either cook it really fast or low and slow. You don’t have to boil your squid before frying, but it might be easier to boil squid first before frying it, as this reduces the chances of the squid being tough. This also ensures squid’s cooked through.
This article will explain how to cook squid and why some people prefer boiling their squid, especially before frying it. We will also discuss tips for buying squid and share some delicious fried squid recipes to try when you make squid in the future. So whether you’re cooking baby squid or big squid, this article will help you do so perfectly.
Should You Boil Squid Before Frying It?
As mentioned above, there are two choices when cooking squid. You can either cook it on high heat for a short time. By short, cooks mean literally between one and three minutes, depending on the squid’s size. Or you must cook the squid for about half an hour.
These two cooking times ensure the squid isn’t tough when you eat it. When cooking squid for a short period, the collagen fibers don’t denature from the heat, and the squid stays tender. However, the collagen starts to denature because of the heat when the squid is overcooked, and the squid becomes tough.
Frying squid for such a short period to prevent the squid from becoming tough can be quite a challenge. The squid can easily be overcooked, resulting in tough squid. The other problem with cooking squid for such as short period is that some of the bacteria in the squid might still be alive. These bacteria can potentially cause you to become ill.
Therefore, some people don’t want to fry their squid for such a short time. This is where boiling the squid will be a great alternative. The collagen fibers will completely denature by cooking the squid for about half an hour, and the squid will become tender again. Then, once your squid is boiled, you can deep fry it to get the squid crispy without becoming tough.
Therefore, although you don’t have to boil squid before frying it, doing so is an easy way to ensure the squid is safe to eat and doesn’t become tough. So, how do you prepare and cook squid when boiling it first?
How To Boil And Fry Squid
While you don’t have to boil squid before frying it, you certainly recommend to do so. Whether you’re frying baby squid or big squid, boiling it first will help ensure the squid doesn’t get tough. Follow these steps to get perfectly cooked squid:
Step 1: Selecting High-Quality Squid
Having tender squid starts by choosing the right squid in the shop. You can purchase fresh or frozen squid. When buying frozen squid, ensure the squid doesn’t have any signs of freezer burn. Squid with dry or brown edges and packaging with ice crystals are an indication that the squid has been frozen for too long.
When buying fresh squid, look for plump and brightly colored squid if the skin is still attached. If the skin is removed, ensure the squid is bright white or cream-colored and looks plump. In addition, the squid should smell like saltwater. A fishy odor is an indication that the squid has been out for too long.
Ask the fishmonger to clean the squid or clean it yourself at home before cooking the squid. The tentacles can be fried whole. However, cut the tubes into rings or strips for frying.
Step 2: Boil The Squid
Fill a pot with water and then bring it to a boil. You can add seasoning to the water or leave the water as is to boil the squid without influencing its flavor. When the water is boiling, add the squid and let it simmer on low heat for twenty to thirty minutes, depending on the squid’s size. Use a fork to check the consistency of the squid while it’s cooking.
The squid will initially feel extremely tough, but the collagen fibers are destroyed with time. When the squid feels tender, you can remove it from the heat. Place the squid in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and allow the squid to cool down before frying it.
Step 3: Prepare The Squid For Frying
Once the squid has cooled down to room temperature, you can fry it. First, however, pat the squid dry to ensure it fries crispy. Then, dip the squid into batter or crumbs to add texture. While you can fry the tentacles as is, squid strips or rings taste better if they are crumbed or battered.
Ensure the batter is cold before dipping the squid to ensure it sticks to the squid. When the squid has been coated, fill a small pot with oil and bring it to a boiling point. If you prefer shallow frying the squid, add less oil to the pot. When the oil reaches between 350°F and 365°F, it is ready to cook the squid.
Because the squid is already cooked, it only needs about a minute in the oil. This will ensure the squid is crispy but doesn’t taste overcooked. When the batter is golden, pull the squid from the oil and place it on a paper towel to drain the excess oil.
Step 4: Serve The Squid
You can serve fried squid in many ways. However, it is delicious when served with a seafood sauce dip or in a wrap or salad. Eat the squid while warm to prevent the batter from becoming soggy. When you boil the squid before frying it, the chances of having undercooked squid are eliminated, and all the potentially harmful bacteria in the squid are killed.
Here are some fried squid recipes to try next time you want to boil and fry squid:
While you don’t have to boil squid before frying it, it makes the cooking process easier and safer. It will easily overcook when you only fry the squid, becoming tough and tasteless. In addition, you fry the squid for such a short time that the harmful bacteria in the squid aren’t killed.
However, when boiling the squid for a long time before frying it, the squid will be tender, and the bacteria will be dead. Then, batter and fry the squid for deliciously tender fried squid.