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Chipirones en su Tinta – Squid in its Ink

Alert! Alert! You don’t wan’t to miss this post! You have never had anything like this before! Come over here, take a look at the pictures and the recipe and tell me you don’t want to cook this… I nearly cry when I tasted them!

Chipirones are small squids (5 to 6 centimeters large), these ones where fished by the beach and had a good price. My fishmonger is Super! The best time to get them this size is July, August and begining of September. When October arrives they get their adult size.

This is a traditional Basque recipe and I kind of followed the recipe steps but gave it a little twist.
I’ll tell you why. Chipirones are normally stuffed with their own legs, but these ones were so small that I couldn’t do that. The recipe ingredients are the ones that the traditional recipe asks for except for the fish stock. So let’s call this: Chipirones en su tinta v.2.

Basque people have fantastic seafood recipes. You can have this as a tapa with a good glass of wine or as a main dish. Elaboration of the recipe is for kindergarden ages; the only hard step here is cleaning the squids. Take your time, turn radio on, have a glass of wine while cooking and seduce your man/woman starting with his/her stomach.

Ingredients for 4 servings: 1 Kg of cleaned chipirones, 2 medium onions, 1 Kg of ripe tomatoes, 2 green peppers, 3 garlics, extra ink from a big calamar (you can buy this one frozen, or ask your fishmonger for extra fresh ink), 4 sandwich slices of bread, olive oil, salt and black ground pepper.

  • Clean the Squids carefully under tap water, take their main “bone” out and place on a strainer without taking any other parts aside. See that they are clean inside their body.
  • Pour some olive oil in a big sauce pan (enough to cover the surface). Add the chopped onion and when transparent add one minced garlic clove. When fragrant add the chipirones, sprinkle some salt and pepper and stir for 5 minutes, if you don’t see it becoming black, then add the extra ink’s bag. Reserve.
  • Start a sofrito with the other chopped onion, one more garlic, and the peppers (chopped in dices), when tender add the tomatoe that you have grated (leaving the peel aside). Taste and add salt and pepper to your taste. Stir and cook at medium/low heat until sofrito is done. As I said many times before, sofrito will be cooked when all the water has evaporated and the tomatoe turns darker and gets oily.
  • Use a food blender to get all veggies mixed and then use a fine strainer to leave the peels and seeds there and get a fine cream/sauce.
  • Pour the sauce in the Chipirones sauce pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir well.
  • Meanwhile fry the other garlic (sliced) in some hot oil in a different sauce pan and add the bread cut in small pieces, when toasted reserve over kitchen paper.
  • Get the dish ready: Take a earthenware dish and pour the chipirones inside, place the toasted bread on it and some parsley leaves on top.
  • This dish goes really well with white rice.

I’m taking these Chipirones en su tinta and a Rioja wine bottle to Stiky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy to celebrate her Blogiversary Bash. Congratulations, Susan :D Let’s party!!! One year of blogging is something to celebrate… Happy Blogiversary!


If you live in the southern hemisphere maybe you would prefere to have the puree a bit warm.


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09/15/2008 · 8:12 h by Peter G

Nuria this looks delicious! I would def enjoy this con a cerveza and some bread to mop up that beautiful sauce. I can only imagine how flavoursome this is!

09/15/2008 · 9:39 h by Ivy

Pity I didn’t know this recipe when I cooked exactly the same small squids last week. I never used the ink before which next time shall definitely do this. I feel hungry now.

09/15/2008 · 10:11 h by jdbauer


09/15/2008 · 12:56 h by Candy

Looks interesting! I’ll see if I can find some squid here.

09/15/2008 · 13:56 h by Peter M

Nuria, never met a squid dish I didn’t like…your food seduces me.

09/15/2008 · 14:03 h by Núria

Peter, there will always be cervezas waiting for you in my fridge… just give me a call and I’ll have another Chipirones dish ready ;D

Hey JDBauer! Welcome to Spanish Recipes :D. I see you don’t have a blog. I have to go and say hello at your space in Foodbuzz. Thanks for commenting here :D

Thanks Candy :D

That is always a start, Peter ;D
I just hope we can meet one day and share some food and recipes in live!

09/15/2008 · 14:04 h by Núria

Ai, sorry Ivy, I overpassed your comment. You should definitevely try them with ink… the sea flavour multiplies… soooooo good!

09/15/2008 · 16:51 h by FOODalogue: Meandering Meals and Travels

Chipirones is one of my favorite dishes to order in a Spanish restaurant…and I did just that when I was in Barcelona in June. Your version with the toast looks sabroso!

09/15/2008 · 17:00 h by Núria

Thanks so much Joan and welcome to Spanish Recipes! I’m so happy to see your face over here ;D

So, you did try Chipirones, mmmmmm, I could never get tired of them :D.
Thanks for your kind words and see you in your blog.

09/15/2008 · 19:06 h by ENRIC

Merhaba Nuria!
Aquest xipironets fan una pinteta que Déu n’hi do!
¡Molt bonic fer-nos això, esta provocació, esta revolució gàstrica imparable!
Seriosament, et felicite de veres fas una excel.lent feina. Ja veus, m’hi trobaràs sovint pel teu blog!!!
Salutacions cordials desde el País Valencià.

09/15/2008 · 20:35 h by Sylvia

This is my favorite Spanish dish , calamares en su tinta. Really delicious, Your dish makes me hungry

09/15/2008 · 23:58 h by Jen of A2eatwrite

Oh, Nuria, I just so love your writing! You have such marvelous enthusiasm and this looks absolutely brilliant!

09/16/2008 · 0:13 h by Nathan

Now now I know where this dish comes from some Cubans make this EXACT dish the same EXACT way. Even the bread is prepared like that WOW! AWESOME!

I think the only difference may be that we may add ground cumin for smokiness but not sure.

09/16/2008 · 5:08 h by Heather

Oh, delicious! I love little bebbeh squids, but I’ve never had the ink. I think I’m ready! Basque food sounds great (a lot of wine is involved).

09/16/2008 · 13:01 h by StickyGooeyCreamyChewy

OMG, this is wonderful, Nuria! I haven’t had squid like this in years. I can’t stop drooling! Thank you so much for bringing it to my party!

09/16/2008 · 14:51 h by Núria

Hola Enric! Benvingut al meu blog! Estic encantada que t’agradi i veient que ets del Pais Valencià accepto tota mena de suggerències pel que fa a les fantàstiques receptes originals de la teva terra :D
Una abraçada!

Hola Sylvia! I have some leftovers, want to come for dinner? ;D

Thanks so much Jenn! I think that the one with never ending energy is you :D. Keep it up darling!

Hey Nathan! Que casualidad!!! I bet Cubans have the best of fish and seafood dishes too! We have many things in common… but I still have to see people dancing here in the streets at 12 o’clock in the morning, shaking their bodies, as I did see in Cuba!!!! We need some Salsa here ;D

Hola Heather! Yeah, Basque people have “no limits” if there’s one bottle to drink, they drink two. If there’s one tree to cut, they cut two. If it’s freezing cold they only have one tshirt on… they are great people with great recipes ;D

Hola Susan! So glad I did!!! Can’t wait to see what everybody brought to the party :D

09/17/2008 · 19:13 h by [eatingclub] vancouver || js

Nuria, this is fabulous! You make me miss squid ink so much. Haven’t had a squid with its ink in a long, long time.

Most squid we have here are already cleaned and don’t have their ink. What a loss, eh?

09/19/2008 · 6:17 h by Jude

Great recipe… Some people get turned off by black sauce but I really like squid cooked in its own ink.

09/19/2008 · 6:41 h by Núria

Hola Eating Club! Maybe if you ask in advance to your fishmonger he/she could bring it for you :D

Hola Jude! The added flavour of the ink makes the difference… doesn’t it? ;D

09/19/2008 · 13:19 h by kittie

Nuria, you’re right, I’d had nothing like this before! My fishmonger also gets baby squid – which always tempt me!

(Btw – I can’t get your comment button to work on your sardine pickle post?)

09/19/2008 · 13:46 h by Núria

Yeah Kittie, don’t know what happened with my blog and navigator… but now I think it’s solved :D.

If you like squids and like sea flavour in your dishes… this is for you Kittie :D

09/20/2008 · 13:39 h by Bellini Valli

such tiny little fellows. When I was young(well much younger) I jigged for squid off the coast of Newfoundland at 4 in the morning. My first squid I caught sprayed me in the face with its ink…the fishermen had that one planned:D

09/20/2008 · 15:23 h by Núria

Ha, ha nice story Val! I love the name of the place Newfoundland… sounds to me like Peter Pan’s weekends’ island ;D

05/16/2010 · 0:20 h by Heidi

You are a genius and thank you for posting! Seriously I haven’t had squid (our word for it) since I was in spain 2 years ago and I’ve craved it ever since…granted I didn’t have enough ink, but the sofrito was fabulous…my squid were a bit larger so I stuffed the head and tents (taking out the teeth) into the body…really delicious…muy bien…

08/10/2012 · 22:59 h by Anonymous

I ate this in a cafe in Barclona for days on end, they thought I was nuts. It was one of a dozen dishes on a steam table in the cooking area. They would freshen it up with red wine as needed, another flavor note to consider? Oh man, is this soul food, hell yeah

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