How to Clean Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish a.k.a. “Kings of Camouflage” due to its ability to change its color to hide from possible predator, although color-blind, are able to rapidly change the color of their skin to match their surroundings and create chromatically complex patterns, apparently without the ability to perceive color, through some other mechanism which is not yet understood. They have been seen to have the ability to assess their surroundings and match the color, contrast and texture of the substrate even in total darkness.

Cuttlefish is neither squid nor octopus but belong to the class Cephalopoda, which also includes squid, octopuses, and nautiluses. ‘Cuttle’ is a reference to their unique internal shell, the cuttlebone. Despite their name, cuttlefish are not fish but mollusks.

Cuttlefish ink was formerly an important dye, called sepia. Today, artificial dyes have mostly replaced natural sepia. The Sepia tones/presets on your Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom or any of your photo editing apps will not be available if not for the cuttlefish ink. Big thanks to Cuttlefish for its photography contribution. Aside from that, Black pasta is often made using cuttlefish ink.

Cuttlefish, fresh catch from Persian Gulf. Photo by Nino Almendra
Cuttlefish, fresh catch from Persian Gulf.
Photo by Nino Almendra

Now let’s start cleaning…

2 pcs. Cuttlefish whole, 1.5 kg each

Yeild; 3 kgs. whole unclean = 2 kgs. cleaned and sliced

Direction:

Step 1; Remove the beak.

Step 2; Take out the cuttlebone.

Step 3; Feel off the skin.

Step 4; Remove the head with all internal organs from the body, carefully pull the ink sac and edible roe. Discard the remaining innards. Cut/slice the head, arms and tentacles.

Step 5; Cut and slice the cuttlefish to your desired shape and sizes.

Here’s how I do it;

Step 1; Remove the beak.

Pull backwards the Cuttlefish arms and tentacles to see its mouth.
Pull backwards the Cuttlefish arms and tentacles to see its mouth.
Press its lip to take out the beak. Discard the beak.
Press its lip to take out the beak. Discard the beak.

 


 

Step 2; Take out the cuttlebone.

Make a slit for easy removal of the cuttlebone.
Make a slit for easy removal of the cuttlebone.
Using both of your hands,  hold and stand the cuttlefish. Push down the cuttlefish to slip out its cuttlebone from its body.
Using both of your hands, hold and stand the cuttlefish. Push down the cuttlefish to slip out its cuttlebone from its body.
Discard the cuttlebone or let it dry and give it to your parakeets or other caged birds, it is a good source of dietary calcium.
Discard the cuttlebone or let it dry and give it to your parakeets or other caged birds, it is a good source of dietary calcium.

 


 

Step 3; Feel off the skin.

Cut a slit on its skin.
Cut a slit on its skin.
Pull the skin off the flesh.
Pull the skin off the flesh.
Do the same at the back.
Do the same at the back and to it’s fins.

 


 

Step 4; Remove the head with all internal organs from the body, carefully pull the ink sac and edible roe.

Discard the remaining innards. Cut/slice the head, arms and tentacles.

Remove the head with all internal organs from the body.
Remove the head with all internal organs from the body.
Ink sac can easily distinguished due to its jet black color among the other internal organs.
Ink sac can easily distinguished due to its jet black color among the other internal organs.
Carefully pull the ink sac.
Carefully pull the ink sac.
It can be freeze and reserve for future use.
It can be freeze and reserve for future use.
Edible roes can also be added to some Cuttlefish dishes.
Edible roes can also be added to some Cuttlefish dishes.
Discard the remaining innards. Cut/slice the head, arms and tentacles.
Discard the remaining innards. Cut/slice the head, arms and tentacles.

 


 

Step 5; Cut and slice the cuttlefish to your desired shape and sizes.

Cut and slice Cuttlefish.
Cut and slice Cuttlefish.
Cleaned and sliced Cuttlefish.   Photo by Nino Almendra
Cleaned and sliced Cuttlefish.
Photo by Nino Almendra

 


 

Cuttlefish mystifying facts:

The cuttlefish has one of the largest brain-to-body size ratios of any invertebrate, perhaps even larger than that of the octopus. According to some scientists studying cephalopod learning, the cuttlefish can use visual clues to solve mazes, making it as intelligent as the octopus or land animals like the pigeon.

* The cuttlefish has three hearts, with two pumping blood to its large gills and one circulating the oxygenated blood to the rest of its body.

* Cuttlefish blood is blue-green in color because it possesses hemocyanin, a copper-containing protein typical in cephalopods—cuttlefish, octopuses, and squids—that transports oxygen throughout their bodies. (Mammals’ red blood uses the iron-rich protein hemoglobin to do the same thing.)

* NOW THIS IS INTERESTING: During mating season the biggest and strongest cuttlefish males will get the highest chance of  getting a female. Eventually, the larger male cuttlefish mate with the females by grabbing them with their tentacles, turning the female so that the two animals are face-to-face, then using a specialized tentacle to insert sperm sacs into an opening near the female’s mouth. The male then guards the female until she lays the eggs a few hours later. The most successful of these methods is also one of the most remarkable; smaller cuttlefish will use their camouflage abilities to disguise themselves as a female cuttlefish. Changing their coloration, hiding their extra arms (males have four pairs, females only have three), and even pretending to be holding an egg sack, disguised males are able to swim past the larger guard male and mate with the female. Female cuttlefish will mate with several males, storing the sperm and later deciding which one to fertilize the eggs with; studies show that females will more often choose the males that employed this mating trick. This may be an adaptation in order to select for greater intelligence. =)


Thanks alot for spending your precious time on my blog and

hope you stay close for we will make a nice Adobo out of this smart Cuttlefish…

 

References;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuttlefish
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/anatomy-cuttlefish.html

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