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How to Grill a Large Cuttlefish or Squid

Updated on September 1, 2014

Was it delicious?

3.3 stars from 3 ratings of Grilled Cuttlefish

A squid by any other name would taste as delicious!

This recipe puts a smoky Mediterranean and almost Caribbean spin on grilled squid. I enjoyed it immensely because it added a bold flavor without overtaking the cuttlefish's amazing flavor. I chose to describe my wonderful cooking experience because of the uniqueness of the situation. I recently found a 2-foot long cuttlefish (counting mantle and tentacles) in the seafood aisle of my local Asian supermarket. It was a giant! I have a good amount of experience cooking squid and cuttlefish and so this recipe (a blend of several recipes and ideas) is for those of you who were also sucked in by curiosity and bought such a large specimen! Of course, this recipe will work with most anything the bounty of the sea has to offer! I hope you savor your meal/appetizer!

Side note: Cuttlefish/squid texture will vary by size. The larger you buy the tougher it will get. Large cuttlefish and squid tend to do better stewed for long periods of time because it breaks down the fibrous tissue much better. But I enjoyed my grill. You be the judge of your own pleasure!

Cook Time

Prep time: 24 hours
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 24 hours 15 min
Yields: Serves 5 people approx. 6-7 ounces of cuttlefish


  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • 1-2 tsp Salt
  • 1-2 T Pepper
  • 4 T Oregano
  • 2 sprigs fresh or 3 T dried Rosemary
  • 2 lemons Lemon zest
  • 2 lemons Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Ground Cloves (optional)
  • 8 Garlic Cloves, Mashed or minced
  • 1 extremely large cuttlefish
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 6 oz
Calories 370
Calories from Fat90
% Daily Value *
Fat 10 g15%
Saturated fat 1 g5%
Unsaturated fat 9 g
Carbohydrates 10 g3%
Sugar 10 g
Fiber 0 g
Protein 55 g110%
Cholesterol 380 mg127%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

And he shall be my squishy!

  1. Gather all the ingredients save for the cuttlefish and whisk together in a big bowl. I prefer to mince my garlic, it's easier than crushing it. While fresh rosemary and oregano is preferred it is by no means a requirement. I'm a budget cooker, too. Buy to your budget. Don't ignore the zesting, however! Lemon zest is a pain but it truly is worth it when it infuses lemony goodness throughout the dish! Ground cloves was an idea I borrowed from another recipe, it adds an unusual bite to the dish but is not required.
  2. If your cuttlefish was like mine and was pre-cleaned then great! Less work! If not, don't worry, it's still very easy so strap on some gloves! Rinse your squid well. The first thing I do is to separate the head from the tentacles. My apologies for no pictures, I will think ahead next time! Grab your sharpest knife. I use my Santoku knife because it cuts very clean. Cut under the eyes and bisect it.
  3. Remove the beak, admire it (atleast I do) and throw it away. Remove everything inside the mantle to include the ink sac and really anything that is mushy.
  4. Take out the cuttle bone, it looks like a long pointy piece of plastic. Interesting fact: It's actually cartilage! Then, if you desire you can scrape off the skin (if present, it is the multicolored covering). If you scrape it just right it will come off in thin sheets. It doesn't matter either way, it's only for aesthetics. Great, now we're ready to chop it to pieces!
  5. With a cuttlefish or squid this size I would take a look at the suckers on the tentacles. They're big and they are terrible to eat so cut them off. Try to slice them off without butchering the whole tentacle.
  6. First, pay attention to the normal firmness of the flesh. Cuttlefish is very firm-fleshed, even more so than squid. Still, there are some areas where it gets too tough, in my opinion. I tend to cut those areas out and toss them. The bridge between the fins and mantle can be a trouble spot. Feel for areas that feel more like dried glue in hardness. Those areas can go. Thankfully, there aren't many of them!
  7. If you want to have rings then good luck because we are dealing with a HUGE cuttlefish and so those will be some large rings! I'd stick with smaller squid/cuttlefish if you want rings. I cut my cuttlefish into chunks, starting with the tentacles. I cut each tentacle into pieces followed with the mantle. There really is no "standard" to follow. I cut mine into big bite-sized pieces.
  8. Alright! Now we are ready to marinate them! Put all of the meat into the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. I recommend you marinate them for 24 hrs but really, I only marinated mine for 2 hrs and they still turned out great! So marinate for whatever time is best for you!
  9. Next get your grill up and running to medium high heat and grill them for about 3-5 minutes each. Since this size of a cuttlefish has thicker flesh I went with 5 minutes and they came out divine!

Ready to Eat! Okay, mostly eaten...


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