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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

October 5, 2011 at 4:08 PM

The squid won’t win any beauty contests, but grabs the attention of many food lovers on the dining table

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The nocturnal squid jiggers are coming out of the woodwork in search of these amorphous blobs that measure 6 to 9 inches long with octopus-like tentacles and a purplish brown mottled bodies.

Ugly as they sound they’re highly sought by anglers and cuisine fanatics alike.

Right now is the start of this nightly affair that spans all across various Puget Sound piers, including places like Pier 86 on the Seattle waterfront near the grain terminals, Edmonds Pier, Des Moines Pier, Illahee State Park Pier and the Bremerton Piers.

To most American they are well known as calamari in the culinary circles, but have been around for eons in Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, and all across Europe in Italy, Spain, France, Greece, France, Holland and Denmark.

When the squid bite is on it is pretty much a given that jiggers will load up on daily limits with the best months yet ahead of us which are December and January.

What that means is you’ll have plenty of time to jig some up for dinner or that deep-fried appetizer to go along with that homemade aioli sauce.

So here is a tasty recipe from Anne O’Connor wife of retired Seattle Times outdoors reporter that will suit your fancy.

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Anne O’Connor’s Deep-Fried Squid

(Four servings as main course or six to eight as an hors d’oeuvre)

2 to 3 pounds squid cut into 1/2-inch pieces

About 1 to 2 cups vegetable oil

1/4 cup flour

Add salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Clean and dry squid 15 to 20 minutes between layers of paper towel.

2. Heat oil in a wok, working with enough oil to cover squid as it cooks.

3. Dust squid pieces with flour lightly seasoned with salt and pepper.

4. Deep fry squid only until it turns golden brown. If cooking a large amount, keep warm in an oven preheated to 200 degrees. Be sure to keep oil 350 to 375 degrees to assure a crisp but not overcooked dish.

5. Serve with melted butter to which 1 or 2 cloves chopped garlic have been added or with commercially made mayonnaise with several cloves of chopped garlic incorporated into it.

How to clean squid

1. Cut off tentacles just forward of eyes and cut out chickpea sized beak.

2. Pull out head and plasticlike spine.

3. Slit open body.

4. Scrape mottled skin off outer body and scrape viscera from inner body.

5. Cut body into half-inch wide strips for frying or leave body whole for stuffing.

(Photos by Mark Harrison, Seattle Times staff photographer)

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