The secret to amazing paella is the delicious squid ink you can use to flavour the rice. Squid ink is a premium delicacy and a small amount can go a long way. Use it for paellas, risottos and even gourmet black spaghetti that makes for a sophisticated meal.
For the best way to extract the squid ink without making a huge mess in the kitchen, here is a step-by-step guide on how to take it out without bursting the sac:
- Make sure you purchase the freshest squid. Tankfully Fresh can have the day’s freshest catch delivered to your doorstep by the next day (except for Mondays) if you order it via their website tankfullyfresh.com before 11:59 pm. Bigger squids have a better chance of a richly filled sac, so order a hefty one.
- Wash it well under tap water. Then hold the head in one hand and the tentacles on another. Slowly pull them apart until the innards are out of the helmet-like body tube. The innards should come with the tentacles, along with the eyes.
- Make sure you are taking the proper precautions before handling the squid ink sac. Squid ink is edible, but it can stain your fingers, clothes and kitchen badly. Wear kitchen gloves to avoid staining your fingernails and handle the squid ink sac on a stainless cutting board and bowl, unless you don’t mind the items blackened by the ink permanently. Don’t forget an apron as well to protect your clothes.
- You can find the ink sac among the innards of the squid. It looks like a black vein that is thin and silvery and you can easily remove it with your fingernail. If you feel that it’s too fragile for your fingers, carefully slip the tip of your knife under the vein and cut away at the ends from the centre.
- There is also a smaller sac right behind the eyes. Cut the tentacles from underneath the eyes and look for the dark silvery veins behind the retina. These are much harder to take out, so it’s best to just poke the sac with your knife and allow it to drip into your container.
- You can drop the small sac into a bowl, puncture it carefully with your knife, and squeeze the ink out. For the larger and richer sac, it’s best to hold the vesicle in your hand and gently poke a hole in it, making sure to aim well into the bowl. Squeeze out the ink with your hand, taking care not to squirt the contents all over your kitchen.
- To use the squid ink in your recipe, you can dilute it in water or vinegar. A drop goes a long way, so don’t worry about not having enough for your dish.
There are many delicious recipes you can make with squid ink together with the rest of the meat. Try serving black risotto rice with sambal sotong for a memorable meal, and make use of all the parts of your squid!
For the freshest squid and other seafood, order from tankfullyfresh.com to have it delivered right to your doorstep the next day! Tankfully Fresh is an online seafood retailer sprouted from Sin Chwee Mini-Mart. We deliver the freshest catch of the day islandwide.