Loligo Squid

Loligo formosa
Loligo chinensis

Other names: Hawkesbury squid, Hawkesbury calamari.

Family: Loliginidae (calamaries, inshore squids).


This name applies to several closely-related wild-caught species. These estuarine cephalopods have mottled pinky-purple skin, long thin bodies, pointy side fins that run about half their body length, 8 shorter arms and 2 longer tentacles. They are caught in estuaries along the NSW coast and tend to gather near the riverbed during the day, spreading out at night throughout the water and coming to the surface to feed. They are mainly caught by jigging (using lights to attract them to the water’s surface at night).

Season: Available year round with peak from February to May.

Size and Weight: Average 100g and 20cm mantle length.

Price: Medium-high priced.


Californian squid, luminous bay squid, northern calamari, southern calamari.

To Buy:

When purchasing fresh whole squid look for intact bright skin, with a light brown to purple mottled appearance, intact head, arms and tentacles and a pleasant fresh sea smell. Cleaned tubes should be white without any brown markings.

To Store:

Make sure squid is gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Wrap in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months below -18ºC.

To Cook:

To clean whole squid: grasp the arms and pull firmly to separate head from tube (try not to break the ink sac, as the ink stains), cut below the eyes and discard head and guts, push beak (mouth) out from between the arms. Remove quill, peel skin off by grasping side fins and peeling around the tube. Side fins can be peeled and used; arms and tentacles can also be washed and used. If cutting tube into rings, wash inside well to remove any remaining gut, otherwise, cut tube open along the obvious seam, lay out flat and wipe the inside clean with a clean cloth. Slice into strips, or score in a hatch pattern (called ‘honeycombing’) and slice into larger chunks. It is also possible to cook squid without peeling it, the skin will turn a dark purple as it cooks. Average yield is 80%. It has a mild, subtle flavour, low-medium oiliness, and is dry with firm texture, which can be tough if poorly prepared. The flesh is translucent when raw and white when cooked.

Cooking Methods:

Steam, poach, deep-fry, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, braise, grill, barbecue, raw (sashimi). To be tender, squid must be cooked very quickly over high heat or very slowly over low heat. The flesh of the mantle, fins, arms and tentacles is suitable for a wide variety of preparations, whole tubes can be stuffed and baked, strips or rings can be dusted in seasoned flour and deep-fried or marinated and char-grilled or stir-fried. The ink can be used to flavour and colour risotto or pasta (though cuttlefish ink is traditionally used). 

Goes well with:

Black beans, capers, capsicum, chilli, fresh herbs, garlic, ginger, green onions, lemongrass, lemon, lime, mushrooms, olive oil, olives, potato, salad leaves, soy sauce, tomato.


Other squids, calamari, cuttlefish and, in some recipes, octopus.


Various species of squid are imported whole, as frozen tubes and pre-sliced rings.


Crumbed Squid Rings >
Squid & Apple Salad >
Squid & Fennel Bruschetta > 
Stir-Fried Squid with Black Beans, Bok Choy & Noodles > 
Warm Asian Salad of Squid >

Mixed Seafood Dishes 
Bouillabaisse > 
Linguine ai Frutti di Mare > 
Seafood Teppanyaki >
Vietnamese-style Stuffed Squid with Asian Slaw >