How to Pickle Calamari

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12-10-2020, 18:40
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Pickled calamari is squid that has been seasoned with salt, cooked, and allowed to marinate in a vinegar solution for a few days. Other spices and herbs are usually included in the marinade to add further depth and complexity to the flavor.

Preparing

  1. Sterilize a glass jar. Wash each jar you plan to use with hot soap and water. Dry the jars thoroughly before proceeding.
    • You could towel dry the jars or allow them to air dry for about 8 hours. A better option, however, would be to dry the jars in an oven preheated to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (120 degrees Celsius) for about 20 minutes. The low heat of the oven will help sterilize the jars further and will also ensure a thorough drying.
    • Note that the jar must be made of glass and must have a lid with an airtight seal. Never use aluminum, iron, copper, or other metals. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/3\/35\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-1Bullet2.jpg\/v4-460px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-1Bullet2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/3\/35\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-1Bullet2.jpg\/aid4958538-v4-728px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-1Bullet2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"485","licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Fair_use\">Fair Use<\/a> (screenshot)<br>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
    • Make sure that the jar is large enough to hold all the prepared squid. A quart (liter) sized jar will likely work best, but one or two half-quart (half-liter) jars may work in a pinch. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/5\/53\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-1Bullet3.jpg\/v4-460px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-1Bullet3.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/5\/53\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-1Bullet3.jpg\/aid4958538-v4-728px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-1Bullet3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"485","licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Fair_use\">Fair Use<\/a> (screenshot)<br>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
  2. Separate the pen and the mantle. Hold the mantle in your non-dominant hand, then pinch the pen with the index finger and thumb of your opposite and. Gently pull the pen away from and out of the mantle.
    • The mantle is the large upper body of the squid, positioned just above the head. The pen is the transparent backbone inside the mantle.
    • When you first pinch the pen, you should feel it separate from the sides of the mantle. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/0\/00\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-2Bullet2.jpg\/v4-460px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-2Bullet2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/0\/00\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-2Bullet2.jpg\/aid4958538-v4-728px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-2Bullet2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"485","licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Fair_use\">Fair Use<\/a> (screenshot)<br>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
    • As you pull the pen out of the mantle, the viscera (or organs) should come out, as well. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/7\/7b\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-2Bullet3.jpg\/v4-460px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-2Bullet3.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/7\/7b\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-2Bullet3.jpg\/aid4958538-v4-728px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-2Bullet3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"485","licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Fair_use\">Fair Use<\/a> (screenshot)<br>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
  3. Cut away the tentacles. Use a sharp knife and cut the tentacles off just beneath or in front of the eyes.
    • You will also need to squeeze the tentacles near the point of your cut to force the hard beak of the squid out.
    • Once the tentacles have been separated, you should throw out the beak, pen, head, and viscera. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/f\/fa\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-3Bullet2.jpg\/v4-460px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-3Bullet2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/f\/fa\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-3Bullet2.jpg\/aid4958538-v4-728px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-3Bullet2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"485","licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Fair_use\">Fair Use<\/a> (screenshot)<br>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
  4. Clean the mantle. Strip away the membrane inside the mantle, then rinse the mantle with cold water to remove any remaining debris.
    • To remove the membrane, scrape the insides of the mantle with a small, sharp knife. Once the membrane has been loosened, you can peel it away with your fingers. Throw out the membrane after removing it.
    • Pat the rinsed mantle dry with clean paper towels. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/1\/11\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-4Bullet2.jpg\/v4-460px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-4Bullet2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/1\/11\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-4Bullet2.jpg\/aid4958538-v4-728px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-4Bullet2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"485","licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Fair_use\">Fair Use<\/a> (screenshot)<br>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
  5. Slice the mantle into rings. Use a sharp knife to cut the mantle into 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch (1 cm to 1.25 cm) wide rings.
    • Gather both the rings and the tentacles. Both can be pickled.

Cooking the Calamari

  1. Boil the water, salt, and one bay leaf. Combine the three ingredients in a large saucepan and bring them to a boil over high heat.
    • You could also add other seasonings, like pepper, parsley, or rosemary. Note that these seasonings will not be packed with the squid, however, so it is best to wait until the pickling stage before adding most of your herbs and spices.
    • Even though other seasonings are optional, the addition of salt is crucial. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/6\/6a\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-6Bullet2.jpg\/v4-460px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-6Bullet2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/6\/6a\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-6Bullet2.jpg\/aid4958538-v4-728px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-6Bullet2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"485","licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Fair_use\">Fair Use<\/a> (screenshot)<br>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
  2. Add the calamari and let simmer. Place the calamari rings and tentacles in the boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium and let the contents continue at a steady simmer for 5 minutes.
    • After adding the squid, the boil will likely calm down. Allow the water to return to a rolling boil before reducing the heat and starting the timer.
    • You should wait until the squid looks cooked. The flesh of the calamari should look pink and feel tender when pierced with a fork. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/7\/73\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-7Bullet2.jpg\/v4-460px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-7Bullet2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/7\/73\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-7Bullet2.jpg\/aid4958538-v4-728px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-7Bullet2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"485","licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Fair_use\">Fair Use<\/a> (screenshot)<br>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
  3. Drain well. Pour the contents of the saucepan through a colander. Allow the squid to drain for a few minutes before continuing.
    • Let the excess water drip off. The squid should feel somewhat dry when you pack it in your pickling jar, but it does not need to be bone dry, so you do not need to dry it off with paper towels.
    • Do not rinse the calamari. Rinsing could wash off some of the salt and flavor embedded in the squid during the cooking process. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/3\/36\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-8Bullet2.jpg\/v4-460px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-8Bullet2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/3\/36\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-8Bullet2.jpg\/aid4958538-v4-728px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-8Bullet2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"485","licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Fair_use\">Fair Use<\/a> (screenshot)<br>\n<\/p><\/div>"}

Pickling and Serving

  1. Pack the calamari in a jar. Transfer the cooked squid rings and tentacles to your prepared jar.
    • The jar should be anywhere from halfway to three-quarters full. Do not pack the jar to the very top, however, since there will not be enough room for the spices and liquid if you do so.
  2. Add the pickling spices and vinegar. Place the remaining three bay leaves, black peppercorns, garlic, and oregano or rosemary in the jar. Pour the white vinegar on top.
    • While not strictly essential, you may want to toss the spices and squid gently inside the jar to spread the seasonings more evenly.
    • Pour enough vinegar over the contents of the jar to cover the squid completely. Make sure that there is at least 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5 to 3.75 cm) of empty headspace at the top of the jar when finished, however. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/8\/8a\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-10Bullet2.jpg\/v4-460px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-10Bullet2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/8\/8a\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-10Bullet2.jpg\/aid4958538-v4-728px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-10Bullet2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"485","licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Fair_use\">Fair Use<\/a> (screenshot)<br>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
    • White vinegar is used in this recipe, but you can experiment some with the pickling liquid. For instance, try white wine or white wine vinegar. The liquid you use must be acidic, though, so keep that in mind before you choose to experiment with another option. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/7\/7e\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-10Bullet3.jpg\/v4-460px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-10Bullet3.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/7\/7e\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-10Bullet3.jpg\/aid4958538-v4-728px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-10Bullet3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"485","licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Fair_use\">Fair Use<\/a> (screenshot)<br>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
  3. Top with the oil. Slowly pour the oil on top of the contents in the jar. You should have a layer of oil that is roughly 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick.
    • The oil should float on top of the vinegar. It serves as another barrier against air and other contaminants.
    • Do not fill the jar to its brim. Always leave at least 1/4 to 1/2 inch (0.6 to 1.25 cm) of empty headspace at the top of the jar, just in case the contents expand during refrigeration. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/8\/84\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-11Bullet2.jpg\/v4-460px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-11Bullet2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/8\/84\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-11Bullet2.jpg\/aid4958538-v4-728px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-11Bullet2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"485","licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Fair_use\">Fair Use<\/a> (screenshot)<br>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
    • After adding the oil, place the lid on the jar. Make sure that the seal on the lid is secure and airtight. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/9\/93\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-11Bullet3.jpg\/v4-460px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-11Bullet3.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/9\/93\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-11Bullet3.jpg\/aid4958538-v4-728px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-11Bullet3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"485","licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Fair_use\">Fair Use<\/a> (screenshot)<br>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
  4. Refrigerate for one day to one week. Place the sealed jar in your refrigerator and keep it there for a minimum of one day. For best results, allow the jar to sit in the refrigerator for a full week.
    • During this time, the pickling spices will marinate and flavor the calamari. The vinegar and remaining salt will be able to pickle the squid during this time, as well.
    • The longer you let the calamari rest, the stronger the flavor will be. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/7\/7e\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-12Bullet2.jpg\/v4-460px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-12Bullet2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/7\/7e\/Pickle-Calamari-Step-12Bullet2.jpg\/aid4958538-v4-728px-Pickle-Calamari-Step-12Bullet2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"485","licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Fair_use\">Fair Use<\/a> (screenshot)<br>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
  5. Serve cold. To serve the pickled calamari, remove it from the marinade and serve it immediately. Pickled calamari tastes best cold.
    • There are different ways to enjoy pickled calamari. Try serving it as its own dish, with a garnish of lemon wedges and fresh parsley. You could also try pickled calamari on top of a Greek-style salad or alongside other appetizers on a cheese tray.
  6. Store chilled. Any pickled calamari you do not want to eat should be kept in its jar of pickling marinade and stored in the refrigerator.
    • For best results, eat the pickled calamari within 10 days after its initial marinating period. The dish may last up to one month, however.

Ingredients

Makes 4 to 6 servings
  • 1 lb (450 g) small to medium squid
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 8 cups (2 L) water
  • 2.5 cups (625 ml) white vinegar
  • 8 to 10 black peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano or rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

Tips

Things You'll Need

  • 1-qt (1-L) glass jar with lid
  • Small, sharp kitchen knife
  • Paper towels
  • Sink
  • Large saucepan
  • Colander
  • Refrigerator
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