Can You Eat Cuttlefish? How does it taste like?



Fact-Checked By: Munyem

Cuttlefish, a cephalopod mollusk, is a popular seafood in many parts of the world.

It is a cousin of squid and octopus, and its meat is known for its tender texture and mild flavor. But can you eat cuttlefish?

Here are the key points to keep in mind when it comes to eating cuttlefish:

  • Cuttlefish is safe and healthy and a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and folate.
  •  The flavor of cuttlefish is more flavorful than squid but not as rich as octopus.
  •  Cuttlefish can be prepared in various ways, including grilling, frying, and slow cooking.
  •  When cooking cuttlefish, it’s important to note that the tentacles and wings are tougher and are best slow-cooked.
  •  Most cuttlefish species have a relatively similar diet consisting of small shrimp and crustaceans when young and graduating to fish, crabs, and other mollusks as they grow older.

Can You Eat Cuttlefish?

Yes, cuttlefish can be eaten, and it is a popular seafood in many countries. Cuttlefish is a cephalopod mollusk that is similar to squid and octopus. It is a versatile seafood that can be cooked in many ways, including grilling, frying, and boiling.

However, it is important to note that not all parts of the cuttlefish are edible.

Some parts, such as the head, entrails, and appendages, should be removed before cooking. These parts can be tough and unpleasant to eat.

What Does Cuttlefish Taste Like?

Cuttlefish has a unique taste that sets it apart from other seafood. The delicate yet rich flavor of cuttlefish makes it a popular ingredient in Mediterranean and Asian cuisine.

The tender flesh tastes sweet and buttery-soft, with a light egg white and green melon aroma. The meaty texture brings out the breezy flavor of the sea, making it a hit among seafood lovers.

Unlike squid, cuttlefish has mild, milky notes and a fresh cream finish. It is often used in sushi and other raw dishes, where its superior texture and taste can be fully appreciated. Fresh cuttlefish is also delicious when deep-fried and seasoned with salt and pepper.

When cooked, cuttlefish has a tender, chewy texture perfect for slow-cooked dishes. Braising cuttlefish in red or white wine and pairing it with smoky or cured meat such as bacon, chorizo, or ‘nduja creates a rich and flavorful dish.

Delicate yet rich flavorMay not be readily available in all areas
Meaty textureMay be expensive compared to other seafood
High in protein and omega-3 fatty acidsMay be an acquired taste for some

Pro Tip: When buying cuttlefish, look for ones that have clear, bright eyes and a fresh, clean smell. Avoid cuttlefish that have cloudy eyes, a strong fishy odor, or slimy texture.

Sources: Americas RestaurantChef TastesFood and Life Lover

cooked cuttlefish

Health Benefits of Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is low in fat and calories and contains beneficial nutrients like selenium and phosphorus.

However, like all seafood, cuttlefish can also contain high levels of mercury and other harmful contaminants. It is important to consume cuttlefish in moderation and to choose high-quality, sustainably sourced seafood whenever possible.

NutrientAmount per 85g serving

Source: Rusticaly

Can You Eat Cuttlefish Raw?

Cuttlefish is a popular seafood dish in many parts of the world. But can you eat cuttlefish raw? The answer is yes, you can eat cuttlefish raw, but it is recommended to cook it first for safety reasons.

Raw cuttlefish can contain harmful bacteria and parasites that can cause foodborne illnesses if improperly prepared.

Like other cephalopods such as squid and octopus, cuttlefish should be cooked quickly, very slowly, or simply eaten raw and at their freshest to enjoy the best flavor.

If you eat cuttlefish raw, wash it well first to remove any sand or dirt that might have accumulated on the fish. A second layer is also fine to eat, but the raw-eating experience is enhanced when you gently peel it off.

Also, purchasing it from a reputable source that follows proper handling and storage procedures is important. It is also recommended to freeze the cuttlefish for at least 24 hours before eating it raw to kill potential parasites.

How to Prepare Cuttlefish?

Cleaning and Preparing Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish is a delicious and versatile seafood that can be used in various dishes. Before you start cooking, cleaning and preparing the cuttlefish is important.

First, rinse the cuttlefish under cold running water to remove sand or debris. Then, remove the head by cutting it off just below the eyes. Cut the tentacles away from the head and remove the beak, which is the hard, pointed part in the center of the tentacles.

Next, remove the skin from the body. You can use a knife to make a small incision in the skin and then peel it off with your fingers. Be sure to remove the clear, plastic-like bone, which is located inside the body cavity.

Cooking Cuttlefish

Once your cuttlefish is cleaned and prepared, you can cook it in various ways. Cuttlefish can be grilled, sautéed, fried, or even slow-cooked in a stew. Here are a few cooking tips:

  • Grilling: Brush the cuttlefish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes per side until cooked.
  •  Sautéing: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the cuttlefish and cook for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown.
  •  Frying: Coat the cuttlefish in seasoned flour and fry in hot oil until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  •  Stewing: For a rich, slow-cooked dish, braise the cuttlefish in wine (red or white) and pair it with smoky or cured meat such as bacon, chorizo, or ‘nduja.

For more recipe ideas and inspiration, check out this Great British Chef guide to cooking with cuttlefish.

Popular Cuttlefish Dishes Around the World

Cuttlefish is a popular seafood ingredient in many European countries, and there are several delicious dishes that you can make with it. Here are some of the most popular cuttlefish dishes:

DishCountry of Origin
Arròs negreSpain
Seppie ripieneItaly
Fritura MalagueñaSpain
Seppie con i piselliItaly
Rouille de SeicheFrance
  • Arròs negre, or black rice, is a popular dish in Spain that is made with cuttlefish, squid ink, and rice.
  • Seppie ripiene, or stuffed cuttlefish, is a popular Italian dish that is made by stuffing cuttlefish with breadcrumbs, cheese, and other ingredients. Fritura Malagueña is a popular dish from Malaga, Spain, that is made with fried cuttlefish and other seafood.
  • Seppie con i piselli, or cuttlefish with peas, is a popular Italian dish that is made with cuttlefish, peas, and tomato sauce. Rouille de Seiche is a French dish that is made with cuttlefish, garlic, and olive oil.


If you’re new to cuttlefish, you might have some questions about this unique seafood. Here are some frequently asked questions:

Is cuttlefish safe to eat?

Yes, cuttlefish is safe to eat as long as it is properly cleaned and cooked.

How do you prepare cuttlefish?

The flesh of cuttlefish must often be tenderized before cooking. This can be done by gently pounding the flesh with a meat mallet or soaking it in milk. Cuttlefish can be grilled, fried, or used in stews and soups.

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Hey there! I’m the face behind FoodJustify. I’ve put in a lot of effort to ensure this site is your trusted source for all things food. My seafood adventures at the world’s largest beach have been a blast, and I can’t wait to share them with you. Take a look around, and I hope you enjoy the journey with us. Cheers!

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