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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Simple Grilled Calamari

It’s funny the difference in reactions I get between “we’re having squid tonight” and “we’re having calamari tonight” – one it utter disgust “EWWWW SQUID!???” And the other, “oh, we’re going fancy Italian tonight, aren’t we?”

Most of the calamari we order from restaurants is the traditional battered ‘n deep fried (LOVE!) but somehow I lost my deep fryer during the move. It’s a mystery — where is my electric deep fryer full of slightly used canola oil? Where could i have put it? Did the moving people lose it? Did it get accidentally mixed in with another family’s stuff? Did Swiper swipe it?

Well, whoever has it, I’m sure is making beautiful battered and deep fried calamari.

In the meantime, our calamari is grilled on a stick, which in my opinion, is just as good as fried (so THERE!)

Buying squid…errrrr…..calamari can be a little scary – what do you do with the slippery tubes and funny fingers? For this recipe, I buy already cleaned squid, which you can get frozen in a bag or your nice fishmonger might have some already defrosted in the glass case for ya.

Now…I know some of you can’t get already-cleaned squid…so I ventured out to the interwebs to find you some videos. But I gotta say, since handling slimy squid with a giant eyeball staring at you and long tentacles waiting to (eeeeks STOP IT!! I watch too many horror flicks) isn’t the most easy thing to do, I was hoping that I could find a happyhappyjoyjoy video about cleaning squid.

I didn’t have much luck. As if saying the word “squid” wasn’t bad enough:

Here’s a video on How2Heroes – used word dissect
Video from Chow.com: nuclear apocolypse
Another with Chef Anne Burell from Food Network: cephalopod

Finally, I found one from About.com, no scary words and they even have soothing music in the background.

If you don’t want to put yourself through this – then just buy them already cleaned!

How to grill calamari

Start by rinsing the squid and pat dry with a paper towel.

Cut the tubes of squid into 2-inch tubes.

Thread the squid onto bamboo skewers and season both sides with salt and pepper. (Be sure to soak the bamboo skewers for 30 minutes before using to prevent burning).

Grill over medium-high heat for 4 minutes each side or until edges slightly charred. Then, drizzle olive oil over the cooked calamari, squeeze some lime and top with parsley.


Grilled Calamari Recipe

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes
Grilled Calamari Recipe photo


1 pound squid (calamari), tubes only
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1 lime, cut into wedges
few sprigs fresh parsley, finely minced
bamboo skewers, soaked


1. Preheat grill. Wash squid, pat dry with paper towel. Cut squid into 2-inch tubes and thread onto bamboo skewer. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

2. Grill over medium-high heat for 4 minutes each side or until edges slightly charred.

3. Drizzle olive oil over cooked calamari, squeeze lime over and top with parsley

20 Responses to “Simple Grilled Calamari”

  1. Kimberly — 11/30/11 @ 4:57 pm

    Grilled calamari is our favorite thing to get when we go out and you make it look deceptively easy. Can’t wait to try it. Fingers crossed I can find already-cleaned squid. :)

  2. Lauren — 11/30/11 @ 5:08 pm

    Love that soothing music! Ha! Think I’ll buy mine already cleaned and ready to go!

  3. Bev Weidner — 11/30/11 @ 5:09 pm

    This is my FAAAAAVOOORRRRIIIITTEEEEE way to eat it. Swear it.

  4. Grilling calamari is so smart! Why do we always feel the need to fry it? Beautiful picture!

  5. Chris — 11/30/11 @ 7:44 pm

    The last time I grilled a squid I shined a bright light in his eye and shouted questions like, “Where were you on the night of the 5th?” and “You know we will find the weapon, why don’t you just confess”?


  6. Norma Chang — 11/30/11 @ 9:30 pm

    Healthy, delicious and oh so easy. Thanks for sharing.

  7. When we lived in Japan I actually ate squid that was still moving on the plate, with eyeballs looking at us. So this looks very tame in comparison, and I’m sure is a lot tastier with the lime and parsley. I could get my chopsticks around this, for sure!

  8. When I lived in Tokyo with my uncle I had to cook this for him at least 3x a week. Stir fried with some garlic and shoyu, so good :) I need to find some calamari ASAP, cant remember the last time I ate it. Wanna try them grilled, maybe mix some cilantro with parsley… YUM!

  9. Kim in MD — 12/1/11 @ 7:34 am

    Chris’s comment is too funny! :-) I love the fried calamari in restaurants, but I never make it at home. This looks so light and delicious! YUM! Your photos are gorgeous, Jaden! :-)

  10. love cooking — 12/1/11 @ 10:35 am

    This is nice, easy and yummy. I think grill the squid head with the tentacles should be nice too. I love the tentacles texture in mouth. :)Just wondering can I grill them in oven and also get good outcome. :)

  11. Pandalicious — 12/1/11 @ 11:55 am

    grilled calamari! great recipe that my kid will love! thx.

  12. wok with ray — 12/2/11 @ 11:26 am

    To be honest, I have not tried grilled-skewered calamari before and I am very interested to try this, Jaden. Thank you for sharing this idea and recipe.

    Have a wonderful weekend! :)

    ~ ray ~

  13. story — 12/2/11 @ 3:39 pm

    The simplicity of this recipe is what makes it so good. Fresh squid can’t be beat!

  14. Candace Richman — 12/3/11 @ 12:12 am

    Interesting fact about the video that you liked – Chef Roble is going to be on a reality show on Bravo starting December 4th – it’s no wonder his video is awesome! Totally not afraid of squid now!

  15. London Accountant — 12/5/11 @ 1:51 pm

    I know it may not sound like it would make much of a difference but using lime instead of lemon had a noticeable effect with this dish – I remember the days when for me as a younger, less adventurous cook lime was only ‘a lemon substitute’ – used in lemon-less emergencies – instead of an ingredient in its own right!

  16. we love calamari. this looks wonderful. glad i found your site. thanks a bunch

  17. Skinny Fat Kid — 12/12/11 @ 12:48 pm

    I’m so tempted to buy calamari from the grocery store, but am fearful that it will turn out terrible. This looks like an easy way to start!

  18. Jason — 12/14/11 @ 7:02 am

    FANTASTIC!!! Thank you for this… My wife and I were talking about trying to do cuttle fi… squi… I mean Calamari just the other day. :)

  19. Cheoy Lee — 1/5/12 @ 10:25 am

    This looks so delicious and healthy, thank you.

  20. Susan Alles — 1/17/12 @ 12:06 am

    love i

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