Sometimes informally thought of as being the same thing as squid, cuttlefish is actually its own species. But it makes sense why people associate the two — cuttlefish look quite squid-ish. While they’re both cephalopods (just like octopus, too), cuttlefish have a rounder, less elongated body than squid, making them rather cute.
Also like squid, cuttlefish use ink in self-defense. This ink is a popular ingredient not just in Asia but also in European cuisines, particularly those in the Mediterranean. Otherwise their flesh is not overly flavorful, although that doesn’t prevent people from eating it. On the contrary, it’s a popular snack in East Asia when dried and shredded. You’re especially likely to find this preparation of cuttlefish as an Asian bar food.
And although cuttlefish flesh is somewhat bland, it’s still used in cooking beyond just as a crunchy bar snack. Most commonly, it helps provide a satisfying chewy texture alongside other, more pungent ingredients that contribute more to the flavor.
If you’re interested in cooking with cuttlefish, check out Uwajimaya’s seafood section where you can find cuttlefish ready to cook or to enjoy as sashimi. Or, if you’d like pre-packaged dried cuttlefish snacks, you can find those in the snack section of our grocery department.