This is a tutorial I wrote back in 2010. I know the photos aren’t exactly the best and I haven’t taken new ones because we are now able to source fully cleaned frozen squid rings which are super convenient but pricey. If you prefer to buy your squid whole, this is what you should do to make sure that you don’t up serving inedible parts of the animal to your family.
Rinse the squids, drain and place on a cutting board. With one hand, hold the squid’s body. With the other hand, grab the tentacles and pull to remove the squid’s entrails.
Next, feel around inside the cavity until you locate the cuttlebone (the animal’s spine) — a stiff, transparent, plastic-like strip embedded in the squid’s flesh. Pull it out and discard.
Take a knife, make a very light incision on the squid’s body to open up the skin. Then, peel off the skin. It might not come off with one pull but once part of the skin has been removed, it is easy to remove the rest by alternative scraping and peeling.
Now, your squids are clean. But what about the tentacles? Should they be thrown away. No, they are edible. Separate the edible tentacles from the rest of the head. I cut off between the eyes and tentacles and squeeze off, and discard, the round white ball of substance inside.
With the squid body and tentacles cleaned and trimmed, just cut everything into whatever shape or size you desire. You can cut the bodies into rings. Or slit them down the middle, open them up, make criss cross patterns all over the surface, dice and use in a stir fried dish.
Whichever shape you cut the cleaned squids into, and however you intend to cook them, make sure to rinse the squid again to remove as much of the sliminess as you can. Then, press the cut squid between stacks of paper towels to remove excess surface moisture.