Sous vide squid with purple potato and red chili

Sous vide squid is tender, with just the right amount of chew. Toss it in a little olive oil and lemon juice with some crunchy potatoes and lunch is served. 

sous vide squid

My husband, the carnivore, decided he’s turning pescatarian.

I’m still not sure what exactly prompted this drastic dietary change, but I have to admit that I’m happy about it. While I believe that a good diet is all about balance, sometimes you just need to cut something out completely to kill your addiction to it. For my husband, that thing is red meat.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been looking through all my cookbooks and magazines to find protein-heavy vegetarian and seafood recipes that will keep things interesting throughout the week and make for easy dinners. Baked fish, ceviche, and veggie tacos have all become part of the regular rotation.

Last week, I came across this recipe for sous vide octopus and squid ink hummus in Sous Vide Magazine and had to try it. I’ve cooked octopus once in my life. I was in Mexico right before my wedding, and I was eager to try something new. Without doing much research, I plunged the poor little octopus in a pot of boiling water and let it cook. What came out was a rubbery, tough meat and murky purple water. It was a disaster.

Octopus, as it turns out, is actually hard to come by in San Francisco. If I really wanted it, I’d have to make a special trek down to Japantown and ain’t nobody got time for that. So, I opted for squid instead.

Squid, like octopus, can get real rubbery real fast. You either have to flash cook it in a super hot pan or braise it slowly for a couple of hours in the oven—and it’s still easy to overcook either way. It either gets super tough, like octopus, or mushy and falls apart. Sous vide, I figured, could take the guesswork out of it.

There are a few different recipes around the web for cooking calamari and they all agreed on a cooking temperature of 136ºF (59°C), however, they vary on cooking times. I opted to go right down the middle of all recipes and cooked it for two hours and it was a win.

Sous vide squid, when cooked for the right amount of time, comes out perfectly tender and succulent, with just the right amount of chew. Here’s how.

roasted purple potatoes
sous vide squid
sous vide squid


MAKES 2 Servings

PREP TIME: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 2 hours TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 10 minutes


1 pound squid, cleaned and sliced into rings
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 purple potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
½ pound cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Small bunch fresh parsley, leaves chopped


  1. Set the sous vide to 136ºF (59ºC).
  2. Season the squid with salt and pepper and place in a large sous-vide safe bag with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Seal the bag and place in the water bath. Set the timer for 2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375°F. On a sheet pan, toss the potatoes and tomatoes in 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven once heated and cook until the potatoes are crisp and tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.
  4. When the squid is done, remove from the bag and pat dry. Discard any cooking liquid.
  5. Heat remaining olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the red pepper flakes and squid and cook just until it begins to brown, about 20 seconds per side. Immediately remove from the heat. Add a squeeze of lemon and toss in the parsley.
  6. Serve with the remaining lemon.