You can buy it in those small bags at the better fishmongers and specialty stores: squid ink. We think it’s one of the nicest additions to our pantry. After all, with a little of that ink you can make the most simple dishes spectacular. Ideal to unpack with your date, parents or friends.
You may wonder what squid ink adds flavor to dishes. Don’t expect an astonishing taste difference, just a subtle hint of salt. But that color, that colour! That alone makes your dish more exciting, mature and cooler. And that in turn improves the taste completely.
Cooking with squid ink: tips and applications
Because of the risotto
A well-known application of squid ink cooking is through risotto. After all, ink mixes very well with creamy substances; risotto lends itself well to that. It is absolutely delicious when you make that risotto with fish stock and crustaceans or shellfish. But above all, be creative and come up with your own combinations. Culy’s Winnie recently made jet black risotto with ‘nduja, lemon zest and buratta – also very tasty.
Through the pasta
Again classic but again very tasty: using ink in pasta sauces. In her book MED , for example, Claudia Roden has an ingenious recipe for vermicelli with ink, aioli and squid: horribly delicious. And if you’re crazy about gnocchi, make a simple butter sauce with a bit of that ink (also nice with sage in it).
Squid ink in dough
If you like to make your own dough, this is also a wonderful destination for squid ink. Karin Gaasterland , for example, puts a little squid ink in the dough of her pakoras (that Indian snack of fried chickpea flour). Homemade pasta dough is of course also very happy with this, but also think of homemade quiche dough or homemade flatbreads . Do it, it’s fun!
In potato salad
Potato salad is typically one of those dishes that you can make as boring or as exciting as you want. Increasing the voltage level can in any case be easily done by adding ink. Give that company of some fried squid rings, aioli and pickled lemon and you have the most exciting potato salad in ages.
Lover of paella? Squid ink also works very well in this Spanish classic.
Pulpo is already a delicacy in itself, but if you rub it with squid ink it becomes quite a spectacle. Super delicious to grill it on the barbecue. And of course that also applies to squid itself, or to any (whole) fish for that matter.
And finally: whether you want to dip with your fries, artichoke leaves or bitterballen: a black mayonnaise certainly makes this better. Just stir a drop of squid ink through your favorite mayo. As far as we are concerned, that is of course homemade , because that turns out to be a ridiculously easy job too.