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Spanish Starters & Appetisers
Spanish Fish Recipes
Basque Recipes

Baby Squid in Ink Sauce

Total Time 2h
4 people
  • Baby Squid in Ink Sauce
  • Baby Squid in Ink Sauce
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1h 30 mins
Total Time

Chipirones en su tinta are a classic Basque dish made from line caught baby squid cooked in a sauce made with cuttlefish ink. The origin of this dish is quite debatable, some say that the influence of using squid ink in Basque cuisine comes from the Philippines through Jesuit missionaries who travelled to Asia during the 17th Century. The only other European dish made with squid ink is ‘risotto nero’ which originated in Venice, a commercial city heavily influenced by Jesuits. Basque chipirones does share a lot of similarities with a classic Philippinnes dish called ‘adobong pusit’ made from squid cooked in rice vinegar and soya sauce, fried with a garnish that contains squid ink. The jet black colour of this sauce is quite striking and will certainly raise some eye brows. However, this sauce is so moorish it will make your dinner guests dunk their bread until they clear the whole plate. This sauce has a beautiful balanced sweet flavour coming from the red onions, it is hearty and brings real earthiness to the dish, demonstrating once again how Basque food is inventive yet humble food. The sauce is really a vegetable cream enriched with the ink. I recommend using cuttlefish ink rather than squid ink, purely because squid ink is less dense and intense in flavour because squid live in deep waters with less natural light, whilst cuttlefish tend to live close to the surface taking on more natural light and making their ink more intense in flavour. Chipirones should be made a day in advance, so the squid really takes on the flavour of the sauce and they develop a soft texture.

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Chef's Profile

Javier De La Hormaza

Javier is a Basque born, trained chef and hospitality professional, owner of Basco Fine Foods, a Spanish food and drink importer based in Yorkshire. He regularly runs client food and drink events around the country and he is a course tutor at Hartingtons of Bakewell cookery school. Javier's passion lies on bringing quality Spanish ingredients and recipes to as many people as possible.

Twitter: @bascofinefoods
Instagram: @mrbasco

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