If you're craving fried calamari, but your fresh seafood selection at the grocery store is limited, you may opt for canned squid instead. Yes, canned squid can be a suitable alternative when fresh is not readily available, but can you use it the same way? Yes... and no. The answer is complicated.
Usually, when you purchase whole fresh squid, you're responsible for cleaning it. Some fish markets do sell cleaned squids (for the slightly less adventurous), but you generally have full control of how you season it.
By comparison, canned squid comes pre-cooked and often comes pre-seasoned, which can be a bit of a bummer for those wanting to control their sodium intake. Canned squid is meant to be eaten straight from the can as a snack. However, you can use canned squid as a replacement in many recipes. For example, you can sauté them for stir-fry. Nevertheless, the quality of canned squid may be different from fresh squid, which could impact the results.
Canned Squid Vs Fresh Squid
When it comes to the debate of canned squid versus fresh squid, you should know that canned seafood may be a little easier on your wallet. Generally, canned seafood is a more affordable option, especially if you're on a budget. But when it comes to taste, canned seafood differs from fresh and frozen seafood. Canned seafood is softer and lacks the texture of fresh seafood. For this reason, some may find it a bit off-putting, but you can work the tender nature of canned squid to your advantage, as it may be easier to chew when cooked. Just be careful that it doesn't fall apart.
Typically, canned seafood comes packaged with added flavors, which could either add new dimensions or distract from your recipe. As mentioned, canned squid may also be saltier, so you will want to adjust accordingly. The advantage of canned squid is its durability and versatility. Canned food maintains its quality for a long time, and if you want, you can eat canned squid with just crackers.
Canned Squid Recipes
When cooking with canned squid, you're only limited by your creativity. However, classics like fried calamari are obvious choices. It is possible to fry canned seafood, but given the delicate nature of squid, you want to be careful not to overcook the meat in the batter. This danger is two-fold since canned squid is softer and has already been cooked once. The texture may not be the same, but you should still get a nice crunch from the breading. For a no-fuss meal, you can always fry canned squid with some vegetables. Simply toss the ingredients in some oil.
Ultimately, what you decide to do with canned squid is up to you. You can try incorporating it into pasta, soups, or even as a topping for a seafood salad. Canned squid is never going to be a perfect replacement for fresh squid, but when it comes to making dinner on a hectic Wednesday afternoon, it will work in a pinch. That's really all you can ask for.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.