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    baby squid, Basque Recipes, Recipes, Spanish Fish Recipes, Tapas Recipes 5 1 5 0

    Baby Squid with Caramelised Onions and Peppers

    • Serves 4 people
    • Complexity Easy
    Prep time
    30 mins
    Cook time
    2h 30 mins
    Total time
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    • 24 fresh baby squid
    • 3 white onions, peeled and finely sliced
    • 1 green pepper, core removed and finely sliced
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 50ml brandy
    • 100ml txakoli whine
    • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
    • 2 tbsp of white breadcrumbs, toasted in a pan or oven
    • 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
    • Sea salt to taste


    A popular Basque recipe of fresh baby squid with caramelised onions and green peppers called ‘chipirones a lo pelayo’. They say that the recipe originated in a bar in the fishing village of Getaria around the 1900s when fresh squid was widely available. The owner, Don Pelayo Manterola asked his wife to prepare squid in a different way to the usual squid cooked in its own ink sauce, the rest is history. There is different ways of preparing squid pelayo. You can either sauté the squid very quickly and serve it on a bed of caramelised onions and peppers but be careful not to overcook it or you can slowly stew the fried squid in the caramelised onions, txakoli wine and brandy until soft and tender, so the flavours are more intense. I let you guess which one I prefer…


    1. Prepare the squid by separating the head from the body, remove the feather cartilage and any other gunk you come into contact with. Wash the body under cold running water. Cut the head away from the tentacles by slicing just under the eyes (discard the head) and push out the beak from the middle of the tentacles. Pull with your hands the side fins from each squid and finely chop them together with the tentacles. Stuff this mix into each squid and close the top with a wooden toothpick. Set aside.
    2. In a medium size sauce pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and add the sliced onions, green pepper and chopped garlic and cook on a low heat for 60 minutes until the mixture is very soft and well caramelised. Make sure you keep on stirring the mix, to avoid it from catching the pan and burning.
    3. In a medium size frying pan, heat some of the oil, once hot fry the baby squid in batches of 6 for about 2 minutes each side or until golden brown. Place each batch into the caramelised onion mix. Deglaze the pan with one quarter of the brandy after each batch has been fried and pour the juices into the squid and onion mix. Once all the squid has been fried, heat the mix, pour the txakoli wine and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes. Check the seasoning and allow the squid to rest for around 1 hour before serving. This will help the flavours to infuse the squid better.
    4. To serve, reheat the squid and onion mix and serve 3 squid per person as a starter or 6 squid per person as a main course. Sprinkle some chopped parsley and breadcrumbs on each squid before serving.

    Shop Ingredients

    Mascaro Brandy V.O.


    Txakoli Zudugarai 2023


    Senorio de la Mesa 5L


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