First, pull out the head, taking the skin off in one go if possible. If your recipe calls for squid rings, leave the squid whole, remove the organs and cartilage and then cut the body into thin rings. Otherwise, cut the squid down the centre, open it out and scrape out all the internal organs and the plastic-looking cartilage. Remove the hard beak, or mouth, from the centre where the tentacles meet, cut the eyes off and discard. (Don’t underestimate how delicious the tentacles are barbecued or fried.) Now, starting from the head end and using a sharp knife at a 45-degree angle, score diagonal lines at about 5 mm (¼ inch) intervals over the flesh, cutting halfway through the flesh and going all the way down to the end. Repeat the lines in the opposite direction to form a crisscross pattern. Scoring prevents the squid from curling up completely during cooking.
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