If you love seafood but have never tried a cuttlefish, you are probably missing out on one of the best features of the sea life.
It can charm you with its appearance so does its taste.
So, the next time you visit a seafood restaurant, try out this delicacy.
For centuries, this animal has been food for the fisherman.
Many people now use cuttlefish to make a creative variety of dishes, from pasta to sauces, using its ink.
Only little goes to waste because almost the whole part of its body is enjoyed with different recipes.
So, what does cuttlefish taste like? Scroll along to find the answer.
What is Cuttlefish?
With the name, you might think cuttlefish is a fish, but it is not a fish.
It is a very active Mollusk that inhabits the marine environment such as the coastal waters of Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia.
There are over 120 species of cuttlefish.
They live on the sea floors and are thus known as bottom dwellers.
Their unique bone, known as the cuttlebone, has chambers filled with gas, which helps buoy their body.
Cuttlefish are unique. Their two tentacles help them catch prey and shoot out black ink in the face of danger.
With this ink, they can camouflage themselves to confuse or hypnotize their predators and even make a body double from their ink.
Cuttlefish are used as a food source by humans, and the ink on the tentacles has a rich seaweed flavor and colors.
It is used as a natural coloration and taste in pasta, risotto, or simply as simple as a source of ink for different purposes.
Its cuttlebone is used as a dietary supplement for calcium, among other animals.
What Does Cuttlefish Taste Like?
Cuttlefish are also known as sepia or ink fish, and it is an ethical delicacy.
If you have tried on an octopus or a squid, you will probably not be surprised when you taste a cuttlefish because there is little difference between them.
Of course, cuttlefish wins in flavor when compared to a squid.
Even though they are from the waters, cuttlefish are different in taste than the fish.
Though they taste superior to the fish with the less pungent smell, they boast of their rich meaty, light texture bringing out the breezy flavor of the sea.
Fresh cuttlefish has a light egg white and green melon scent with a tender, chewy texture.
Many people now dry the cuttlefish or ferment it to use it for a long time because fresh cuttlefish or seafood, in general, tend to go bad fast.
Cuttlefish have little to no fat content and are a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent heart-related diseases, Vit A, D, and B complex, and a great source of minerals.
Three oz.or 85 gram serving of cuttlefish contains 134 calories and a high amount of protein.
Carbs and fats are low in cuttlefish, so you can include them in your weight loss diet.
They also have some amount of vitamins and minerals.
How to Prepare and Cook Cuttlefish?
Typically, cuttlefish are not considered poisonous, and it is safe to eat except for the “flamboyant cuttlefish,” which can be lethal if consumed.
So, you should know which cuttlefish to fish out or buy for consumption.
Cleaning the cuttlefish can also be tricky, but it is effortless to clean and prepare once you get the idea.
It is best to clean the cuttlefish well with some salt to rinse off the slippery mucus texture present on its surface.
Next, cut off the head, arm, and tentacles.
Ink is present in a well-defined sac, remove it and use the ink to make licorice or sauce.
Remove the skin, eyes, mouth, and gut from the body and discard them.
You can consume the skin, but it becomes very chewy.
Some people prefer the cuttlefish’s raw fresh taste and texture, so they take it raw mixed with other ingredients like lemon, egg whites, and a dose of sea licorice made of cuttlefish ink (squid ink) and seaweed.
While cooking a cuttlefish, make sure not to overcook because the flesh can become rigid.
Another method is to cook it slowly on low heat for about 1 hour.
Alternatively, you can cook them faster at a high temperature for just 1-2 minutes.
Cautions: Before preparing a cuttlefish, it is essential to tenderize the flesh since their flesh is thick and rubbery in texture.
There are different ways to do it:
- Scoring: With a sharp knife, make a shallow diagonal crisscross cut known as a score on the surface of the flesh. Do not cut through the flesh. This method makes the flesh curl on cooking or frying. And allows the ingredients to penetrate through the flesh and makes the dish look pretty.
- You can also tenderize the flesh by gently pounding with a mallet.
- Or marinate in milk, cover it and refrigerate it overnight.
You probably would like to try a cuttlefish now that you’ve read much about them.
So, if you want to try one, buy the right cuttlefish from the market that is either kept in ice or refrigerated.
Fresher cuttlefish has a distinct smell, not pungent and sore but a mild fishy smell with a firmer texture which will be easy for you to recognize.
Also, make sure to store your cuttlefish in the refrigerator after you buy it.