Giant Squid in San Diego – Besides Calamari – What to do with all that Squid


Giant Humboldt squid are invading Southern California waters, much to the delight of sport fishing enthusiasts. The super-sized cephalopods , which measure up to six feet, are being reeled in by the hundreds off the coast of Oceanside, according to the U-T San Diego.

Above image is from a recent trip out with Fishing Charters San Diego.  But what are we to do with all this squid? To answer that question, I turned to the experts; I turned my dad. Now an Oregon-based chef, my father enjoyed a similar squid invasion in the early 1990s in the Southern Baja fishing village where my family lives.

Calamari is a bar staple, but the deep-fried ringlets can get real old real fast. So, I asked my dad to list some of his favorite alternatives. He quickly named many options, his inner Bubba Blue making an appearance.

“Oh, anything you’d do with seafood you can do with squid,” he began.

  • Ceviche
  • Scampi
  • Pastas
  • Squid Steaks
  • Cream of Squid
  • Campechana Cocktails
  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Chorizo (sausage)
  • Squid Chicharrones

An online search turned up many intriguing recipes, too: Szechuanpeppered calamari, linguini pescatore, pickled squid, carpaccio, squid pilaf, Japanese-style fried ginger squid, cioppino, paella, and a ton of squid ink pasta options.

Here’s one of my dad’s go-to recipes: 

Seafood Linguine


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

  • 15 scrubbed clams

  • 15 mussels

  • 1/2 pound fish

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 2 cleaned squid, cut into 1/2-inch rings

  • 2 1/2 cups prepared marinara

  • red chile flakes, to taste

  • 6 to 8 ounces uncooked dried linguine (prepare according to package)

  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley


1. Heat olive oil in hot sauté pan.
2. Add garlic.
3. Throw in clams and mussels in their shells.
4. Add fish and squid.
5. Deglaze with white wine.
6. Add marinara and let simmer. Continue simmering until clams and mussels open up.
7. Toss with cooked linguine.
8. Plate and add parsley.

Ashley Alvarado