This braised cuttlefish recipe is easy and full of flavor. Baby cuttlefish are slow-cooked Chinese style with a combination of regular and dark soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, and hot chili peppers. The meat is tender and incredibly tasty!
If you love squid, you’ll love this cuttlefish recipe too! It is super easy to cook, they aren’t complex steps and it requires minimal ingredients. Cuttlefish tastes like squid but is much cheaper, so it’s a nice option if you are looking for a switch-up from your usual seafood choices.
Whole cuttlefish are braised in a flavor-packed sauce that is the best combination of sweet, savory, and spicy. Braising is a great hands-off cooking method. Similar to crockpot cooking, braising is when you cook your meat in a liquid or sauce on low heat for a long time until it is tender and soft.
Perfect for colder days or whenever you are busy, this Chinese-style braised cuttlefish recipe is a comforting dinner served over rice or noodles.
Baby cuttlefish. You will need 6 cleaned whole cuttlefish. Frozen is fine too.
Soy sauce. The combination of regular and dark soy sauce gives this braised cuttlefish recipe a great depth of flavor.
Dark soy sauce. Also known as black soy sauce, it is thick and slightly sweet in taste compared to regular soy sauce.
Fish sauce. Enhances the fish flavors in this dish.
Chili peppers. Gives the perfect kick of heat.
Oil. Vegetable oil is used to lightly cook the garlic and ginger before adding the other ingredients.
Garlic and ginger. Common aromatics in Asian cuisines.
How to cook cuttlefish
Heat oil in the small pot or pan. I used extra virgin olive oil. Add smashed ginger and garlic. You can chop them too instead of smashing, it just will take much longer time.
Saute for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Add cleaned cuttlefish to the pot along with other ingredients. Add about 1/2 cup of water.
Cook covered for 40-50 minutes on low heat. Cuttlefish will be very soft and tender, easy to cut in pieces with the knife.
What are cuttlefish
Despite its name, cuttlefish aren’t fish but are more closely related to octopus and squid. A popular choice in East Asian and Mediterranean cuisines, cuttlefish is a lesser-known and cheaper alternative to squid.
Cuttlefish is also known as, sepia fish. It has a tender, but slightly chewy texture and mild flavor, tasting like a cross between squid and octopus. It is often cooked using high-heat methods such as grilling or sauteing to avoid it becoming overcooked and tough. However, if you have time cuttlefish can be cooked low and slow as in this braised cuttlefish recipe with fantastic results.
When buying fresh cuttlefish look for ones that have smooth and shiny flesh with iridescent patches. It should be firm and free of any cuts or tears in the skin. If the cuttlefish is slimy or smells fishy, then don’t use it.
Cuttlefish. If you can’t find cuttlefish you can use squid/calamari instead.
Fish sauce. Use hoisin sauce or Worcestershire sauce, or simply leave it out.
Chili peppers. Use 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes, cayenne pepper, or a few chopped jalapeno peppers instead.
Dark soy sauce. Substitute with a mixture of regular soy sauce, molasses, and sugar. Or replace it with tamari, teriyaki sauce, or oyster sauce.
Cuttlefish recipe variations
If you are in a hurry, marinate the cuttlefish with soy sauce and fish sauce then quickly fry it over high heat for a few minutes until the meat is tender.
Instead of Chinese-style cuttlefish, try Italian-style braised cuttlefish with stewed tomatoes, white wine, and plenty of chopped parsley.
Frequently asked questions
Cuttlefish has a similar flavor to squid but is more flavorful. It is tender with a slightly chewy texture and it is often cooked in the same way as squid and can be used interchangeably in most recipes.
Cuttlefish has many amazing health benefits. It is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids and many minerals such as selenium. Cuttlefish is also rich in many B vitamins.
Despite its name, cuttlefish belong to the same family as squid and octopus, tasting like a mix of the two.
You might not be able to find cuttlefish in regular grocery stores, so look for it at your local seafood market or Asian grocery stores. Online seafood delivery services are also a great choice for fresh or frozen seafood.
Store cuttlefish leftovers in the air tight plastic or glass container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Try to eat it in the first couple days though because seafood doesn’t stay fresh for a long time. Do not freeze.
More seafood recipes
- Hamachi poke
- Razor clams recipe
- Red tilapia recipe
- Air fryer snapper
- Ninja Foodi frozen salmon
- Ninja Foodi shrimp
- Air fryer frozen tilapia
- Air fryer soft shell crab
Hope you will like this braised cuttlefish recipe as much as we do. Rate the recipe if you made it and leave a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions.
- 6 baby cuttlefish
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 3 chili peppers
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 inch peeled ginger
- Heat oil in the small pot or pan. Add smashed ginger and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add cleaned cuttlefish to the pot along with other ingredients. Add about 1/2 cup of water.
- Cook covered for 40-50 minutes on low heat.
Store cuttlefish leftovers in the air tight plastic or glass container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Try to eat it in the first couple days though because seafood doesn't stay fresh for a long time. Do not freeze.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 513Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 571mgSodium: 3454mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 86g