Boiled Squid with Miso Vinaigrette イカの酢味噌和え

Print RecipeJump To Recipe

Boiled Squid with Miso Vinaigrette Recipe | JustOneCookbook.comMy 6 year old son finished 4-week swim camp last week and the teacher said he’s ready for more advanced class when he finished!  We didn’t sign up for more swim camp though, and he starts science camp from tomorrow.  It’ll be the first time for him to eat lunch at school because his kindergarten was half day.  I am looking forward to making lunch for him to bring.

Boiled Squid with Miso Vinaigrette | Just One Cookbook
However, to be completely honest I am a bit nervous if I can wake up early enough to prepare his lunch, not sure exactly what to pack, and worried if he’s going to eat everything I pack in a short lunch break… I’m just a worry bug.

I’m planning to pack Japanese bento for a couple of days a week and sandwiches in between.  He had been enjoying nice warm lunch everyday till now so hopefully he’ll be able to adjust to lukewarm or cold lunch.  Although it’ll be fun for him to eat lunch with his friends, I’ll miss our lunch time… well at least I still have my daughter to eat lunch with me.  Anyway, let’s move on as I will have to go sleep right after writing this, so I can wake up early to prepare!  My husband thinks I am really silly – instead of worrying about whether he’ll understand the subjects being discussed at camp, I am worried about his lunch!

Now today’s recipe.  Japanese loves seafood and it seems like we eat almost everything from the ocean.  One of the more common seafood ingredient we enjoy is squid.  Squids are served many ways, as sashimi and on sushi, deep fried, baked, grilled, and even sold dried as a snack.  Although squids seem less popular in the US, besides deep fried calamaris, they have great health benefit.  They are low in fat and calorie and high in protein, and they also reduce cholesterol in blood.

Maybe fresh squids look too intimidating for you to prepare and cook?  Well, focus on the end product and hopefully you won’t mind.   :-) One of the more popular squids is Spear squid, we call it Yari Ika in Japanese, and the meat tastes sweet and it’s soft and super delicious.  The dish I am sharing today can be served as an appetizer or side dish, and it goes well with alcoholic drinks.

The sauce I used to compliment squid is Miso vinaigrette, which is sweet and tart from mirin and rice vinegar.  The miso flavor provides a nice body to the vinaigrette.  If you are not a fan of squid, you can simply use this miso vinaigrette for blanched vegetables, sashimi, shabu shabu pork, etc.  Hope you will give it a try!

Boiled Squid with Miso Vinaigrette | Just One Cookbook

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Sign up for the FREE Just One Cookbook newsletter delivered to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram for all the latest updates. Thank you so much for reading, and till next time!

Boiled Squid with Miso Vinaigrette
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2-3
  • 2 fresh spear squid (Yari Ika)
  • 3 green onions
  • Salt
Miso Vinaigrette (Sumiso Sauce)
  • 2 Tbsp. white miso
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. mirin
  • A little bit of Japanese mustard (Karashi) (optional)
  1. Gently pull the head and tentacle from the body and set aside. With the back of the knife press out the insides and discard. Clean the squid thoroughly under running water.
  2. Remove the quill (the clear sword shaped cartilage) from the squid. Insert your finger to remove any bits that might be left inside.
  3. If you prefer, take off the outer skin by peeling it. I kept it on today so that after boiling it gives nice red color. Also, removing fin is optional.
  4. Cut off tentacles just above the eyes. The tentacles have a tiny piece of cartilage which is the beak and you can cut off the beak with scissors or knife.
  5. Then cut the body to rings and cut tentacles into small pieces.
  6. Cook the squid in boiling water until it becomes completely white. Soak in iced water to cool it down.
  7. Boil water in a small saucepan. When boiling, add salt and soak the white part of the green onions in the boiling water for 10 seconds. This way the thick part will cook longer than green tender part. Bend the green parts and boil for a few seconds. Take the green onion out and let it cool down, cut into 2 inch pieces.
  8. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients and mix well.
  9. Serve the squid cold or at room temperature and pour the vinaigrette on the squid right before you serve.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


Enjoy It? Share it!

Never miss another new recipe!

Sign up and receive the Just One Cookbook email newsletter.

Disclosure: Just One Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published - required fields are marked *

  1. What a nice appetizer! I love squid and can’t wait to make this.

    I know your son is going to be fine having lunch with his friends. :) And don’t worry if he doesn’t finishes all of the food you pack him, cos, there will be some days that he just won’t (that’s exactly what I worry when my little boy started school, and now my little girl as well). 😛 Just relax, he’ll be just fine. For those days that he doesn’t finish everything you pack, he’ll come home a bit more hungry and you can enjoy a nice afternoon tea with him. 😉

    By the way, I think sometimes I over pack his lunch too (afraid he won’t have enough to eat), that’s why he couldn’t finish everything. hahaha….

  2. Nami, I am crazy for squid. Since I discovered Hyosun’s Korean spicy squid I have made it at least 20 times! Miso vinaigrette sounds extraordinary! (You know how much I love miso…). In short, you have combined one of my favourite animals and one of my favourite Japanese products, so I cannot imagine I could dislike it. I will try it very soon! Thank you again!
    I am looking forward to hear how your bento making goes. I have always wondered how Japanese mums (and dads, if you know Hiroyuki!) manage to prepare bentos every day… I’m sure your son will have the most delicious lunch of all the children :-)

  3. You’re such a great mother Nami! I know a lot of Japanese mothers do this for their kids but I don’t think I’d be able to wake up so early to prepare lunches every day. 😛 It’s hard work!

    Love the looks of that squid! The miso dressing sounds fantastic. 😀

  4. Hahah, I think mothers are simply condemned to worry! Your feelings sound so familiar.
    I’m guilty of only doing calamari deep-fried with lemon, which is one of my favourites. But this looks delicious Nami. Lovely recipe, thanks.

  5. Eha

    Absolutely love squid, but tho’ I have ‘boiled’ octopus in various Greek ways, have never thought of using the simple method on squid! Have to get some white miso: don’t think my tan ‘stuff’ would quite fit the bill, but the sauce sounds great also! Funny, so many of my friends seem to have trouble cleaning squid and cuttlefish etc – to me that is almost therapeutic – so beautiful to see the clean white product emerge like a butterfly from its chrysalis . . . Oh, won’t your son’s new friends be fascinated by his bento box, dear Mom :) !

  6. I’m a huge fan of squids & I can certainly finish this in no time. But I usually remove the skin as well. The sauce is a combi of both my fave ingredients too. Love it!

  7. busy mom you are huh… with the kids summer camps! I miss those days when I had to bring all three kids to different camps. It was hectic, but I have no regrets, my kids all turned out to do just great!
    I love squid so this is definitely something that would find its way to my dining table.

    Happy Monday Nami!

  8. I’m sure your son had a great time at science camp. The most difficult thing for me was letting my son go that first time. I know how it is for you.

    However, I never worried that his cold lunch would be a bother. :)

    Tell us how his first day was?

  9. If this is what your son takes for lunch he will be the coolest kid in school. When my kids were in school I made them english muffin pizzas for lunch. The boys typically ate half of them on the way to school.

  10. That’s a beautiful looking dish Nami and I’m impressed at how well you’re able to prepare the squid. And I get anxious over lunch boxes too and I sit at home and worry all day if my little guy has had enough to eat and was he able to open the packaging and does he have friends to play with etc. It’s just a nail-biting ride being a mother – and you sound to me like you’re completely normal! xx

  11. i’m not much of a cook, especially when it comes to seafood.. but this looks like something i can do ^^ thanks for sharing. pics look great, btw.. i’m pinning it ^^

  12. Such a beautiful dish! Love the green of the spring onion and the pink from the squid. My husband loves squid but I have never cooked it for him. Will hopefully find some fresh squid sometime so that I can try something like this.

  13. I have not worked with fresh squid in ages. You make it look so easy… I may have to give it another try. My son went to all day kindergarten and my daughter is just about to go this fall. It really is nerve-wracking to make a meal that can last in their lunch box and that they will eat. I feel so sorry for the amount of pb&j or ham and cheese with mustard sandwiches I have fixed my son. I need more lunch box ideas… for a picky eater. :) Have a great week! ~ Ramona

  14. Candice

    Yum! I love squid and miso. Perfect combination! I’ve never cooked squid before, but it looks easiy enough for even a newbie cook like me. =)

  15. I hope you don’t overstress too much on whether he eats his lunches or not. It’s common for kids to compare their lunches to their friends’ and come home with demands for similar things regardless of the fact that they’ve always loved the things you’re packing for them. It’s not a critique of your cooking. They’re just trying to find their place in the school hierarchy and lunches are a way to do this. :)

    As to the squid. Well, I had a bad experience with finding ‘goodies’ inside a package of cleaned/peeled squid bodies and tentacles once and the smell put me off squid for quite a while. I now only buy frozen rings or sectioned bodies like the pineapple cut squid I used for the pasta dish I made a while back.

    And I have to compliment the pictures again. They are truly amazing.

  16. I love the idea of a miso vinaigrette to accompany this stunning dish! (or any recipe for that matter) – miso is one of my favourite ingredients… I enjoy it all year long with so many different foods. Beautiful photos – as always Nami!

  17. Oh Nami, your boy will be just fine eating lunch at school. Kids adjust fast so i know he will be happy there! Mine is starting kindergarten too, but we don’t have half days. It is full 8 hours in school even for I know what you mean. I will miss him so much over breakfast, and lunch. Now the recipe today is delicious…you know that I didn’t like squid before, but I do now and I think your recipe is wonderful. Simple and perfect for lazy days when I don’t feel even that hungry. Also I love your pics! Have a wonderful week!

  18. How wonderful to hear about your children’s activities! These are the best times, so enjoy them! And your bento boxes will be wonderful, because they’re filled with love. I’m enjoying your food photos – the squid and condiments look delish ! And your plates, bowls and accessories are so pretty! Thanks for sharing, Nami! Have a great week!

  19. Nami, you are too cute! I’m sure your son will enjoy the lunches packed with love that you’ll be sending him off with :). I’m not a squid lover because, when I was too young to notice, my parents would order calamari for us and call it “chicken fingers” if we were eating out at a seafood restaurant. I haven’t eaten squid since I discovered what they were up to! I would love to try the miso vinaigrette though, it sounds delicious!

  20. Nami, this post made me smile. Your conversation with your husband about science vs lunch–which to worry about. Too cute! You’re so sweet to be so concerned about your little one adjusting to a cold lunch. You’re a great mom!

    I have been craving nothing but seafood lately so I’ve been having even more fish than usual. I love squid and I’ve been meaning to try a recipe of my mom’s that is made from squid but I’ve been afraid of the cleaning part. Your step-by-step pictures are always a great help. I love the miso-vinaigrette. I’ve got everything I need for your Sumiso sauce so I think I’ll give it a go this week. :)

  21. I completely understand your worry Nami. I am exactly the same way. Men don’t understand the connection Mommies have to their babies. When, what, and how much they eat is always on my mind. Keep your son going with the swimming. He should play water polo in high school (or even before). It is a wonderful sport and so good for them!

    I have never prepared squid before. Your posts always inspire me to try new things!

  22. Nami: I had similar worries when my kids became school ready. I love packing lunch for them, it’s yet another way for me to let them (subconsciously) know how much I love them (they will realize one day in the future). I have found some warm containers so I do not have to be restricted to packing a cold lunch…

    This dish looks wonderfully sophisticated. I adore miso…and I think I will want to use this vinaigrette for many other salads. BTW, we Italians love squid just as much as Japanese do!

  23. Nami, your son will be just fine…it is a nerve issue always when changes are needed…but at the end the kids adapt better than us.
    The squid appetizer looks delicious with the miso vinaigrette…I just don’t know about the cleaning side of it…
    Have a great week my dear :)

  24. Congratulations on your son’s swimmint success! And I can very much relate to your nervosity. The more important a thing is, the greater is the fear due to what you risk to lose. But I’m sure you’re supporting him perfectly well! And your squid dish sounds wonderful. If I went out for eating to a restaurant and I found this on the menu, I’d 100 % order it regardless of what else was on the menu. Totally my kind of dish! 😀

  25. Morgan

    This sounds amazing! I haven’t seen any fresh squid in my town but I have seen the pre-cleaned frozen bags in my local supermarket. Do you think it would work?

    Thanks! Came across your blog on Pinterest and have been exploring it for over an hour :)

    • Hi Morgan! I’m so sorry for my late response. Yes, you can use the pre-cleaned frozen squid. Of course it’s not the same compared to fresh one, but I hope you will give a try this recipe! Glad to hear you found me on Pinterest. Welcome, and I hope you enjoy cooking/eating Japanese food! :-)

  26. Your boy will be fine, Nami. He will have plenty of friends and I’m sure he will enjoy the company. However, the fun part of that is dinner time when they start talking about their day and that is something I missed from my kids very much. When they grow up, they kind of quite down a little bit. I love these squids and you made and plate them so beautifully. Have a good week, Nami.

  27. Oh Nami, my 5-year-old went to dance camp last summer…she DID NOT eat the lunch I packed her at all, haha. By the way, here in Canada, we are moving into full-day kindergarten by 2013. I’m not sure if I like that or not. I think I do, although it just seems like too much too early for kindergarten kids…

    I like your boiled squid…sometimes, frying or grilling them gives off a bad odor. I prefer to cook them this way with a nice dressing!

  28. Sometimes, I do think that parents are the one that stop kids from growing up… Like you, I’m always worry about my son for all sorts of things. My son will tell me it’s ok and insisted that I should let him trying new things… I guess our children is growing and they are not babies anymore…

    I like your miso vinaigrette and will keep this recipe in my mind when I’m preparing a Jap style salad.

  29. Kids grow so fast, and as mothers, we will be worried about food, always. It’s strange when they start leaving us, even it’s just a camp, but we start thinking with the days they will really fly away.

  30. I think the vinaigrette is the star of the show here. I love it and I could see it on just about anything. I am with your girl on the lunch! I get excited thinking about what I will pack him and the snacks I will have for him when I pick him up from school. I still have plenty of time to prepate seeing as he is only 3 but still, i like to think about it. I know it will be sad though at the same time. Our babies are growing up!

  31. It is very normal for a mother to worry about the kids’ luch: that’s why we are “moms”. If we were not there, the kids would have only eaten chocolates and candies. Good that your son is learning so much from these camps!

    Oh, I love squids and really appreciate your stepwise cleaning method. Love this recipe. Do you use squid ink to prepare any Japanese dish?

  32. donna mikasa

    You couldn’t call yourself a Mom if you didn’t worry about your son’s lunch! I’ll bet he is spoiled with warm lunches lovingly prepared by you. I remember my Mom making tako with sumiso, so this dish is very nostalgic! Must try it with ika.

  33. This one will be a winner here. We all love squid. The kids can’t get enough of it. Mr. N just ordered it at a Japanese restaurant over the weekend. :) I totally appreciate the step-by-step on how to prepare the squid too. I fell far less intimidated now. Congrats to your son on his swimming! And have fun making lunches. :)

  34. Ohh yummm squid i love the texture of it :) hahaha i remember last year was the first time i prepared squid and thought that hard plastic like material was really weird hehe

    Oh don’t be sad Nami even though your son is going to school and is growing up you at least have your daughter with you and YAY for us readers because that means you will be able to share your Japanese bento box recipes! WOO HOO!

  35. Guess what! Squid is my daddy’s favorite food! He eats it almost every night, but he dips it in Korean pepper sauce. But this miso vinaigrette sounds amazing, too! I’m gonna tell him about it. 😉

  36. your son is going to be fine. So sweet of you to worry about his lunch. Have you ever considered buying a insulated lunch box/bag to keep his food warm? We have a insulated picnic bag and it’s nice to have a homemade warm meal when we’re on the road.
    The squid looks delicious!

  37. I’m all over this recipe, I just love the flavours, and squid or calamari is one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing this, I will bookmark.

  38. Jeannie

    Nami, if you worry so much, you are going to start having grey hair lol! Mmm, I won’t mind having that squid dish for my lunch box:D

  39. I love eating squid! But then again, I`m Chinese. LOL

    My parents often packed my sandwiches to eat for lunch. However, most of the time, I ate school lunches.

  40. love2dine

    How luscious and delicious! This is a recipe I have been wanting to make for years too! I must try it soon!

  41. Hi Nami,
    I love the way you have shown to clean the squid. I come from a seafood lovers family and my my mom would clean it , just the way you have shown it.
    My husband is not into sea food but my daughter and I love it. I would love to try this recipe for her.
    Presentation and photographs are outstanding.

  42. Hi Nami! Lunch is a very important meal and it’s important to eat something that will power up the body and the brain so I think it’s good to worry about what your children will eat while at camp or school! I love this recipe because for one thing I love squid and think your recipe sounds delicious and healthy, one of the wonderful things about Japanese food, that’s for sure;-) The step by step photos are always very helpful and it’s wonderful that you take the time to make them, thanks Nami;-)

  43. Hi Nami!! Wow! What a wonderful recipe!! I almost envy your kids because they’re able to eat such yummy Japanese food made by their mama every day!! I know I’m going to love this recipe because I loooove seafood too, especially squid! Thanks for sharing your recipe!! Hope your son has fun at his camp!

  44. Oh I love squid! One of our favorite squid dishes is a lime and cilantro squid salad that we get at a Thai restaurant. I’ve never made it myself because the animal does intimidate me for some reason and it’s not something you can find very easily in the high desert. :) Thanks for the tip on the spear squid because I know I could handle that if I could find it. This recipe looks delicious and definitely something that would be a huge hit at my dinner table! That is pretty funny that you are worried more about your son’s lunch than what he will learn! As teacher, I had to laugh. :)

  45. I’m a little chicken to try squid although your’s looks wonderful but I know I would love your dressing. It sounds amazing! So sweet that your thinking of your son’s lunch so much – he might not appreciate that now but he will one day, what a good mom you are!

  46. I think we moms start worrying even before our children are born! Your son will have a blast eating lunch with his friends and will probably have some requests after Day 1 :) How about you make squid for me and I’ll bake up some bread? Wouldn’t we have fun eating together???? Have a wonderful day!

  47. I think that’s totally normal to worry about your son’s lunch even more than the rest of his day at camp– the camp counselors/teachers will take care of that part, whereas the lunch part is up to you… but I’m sure you’ll do fine!

    Also this recipe looks delicious, and thank you for including photos of how to handle a whole squid! Usually squid is something that I only order at restaurants (or buy in frozen chopped rings) but would be too intimidated to ever try preparing myself at home.

  48. I’ve never cooked with squid before (or even seen it sold for that matter) – it looks so pretty… I love the beautiful little rings. Fresh squid is so nice, isn’t it?! So much better than the rubbery frozen rubbish!

  49. Dear, Nami, I am always worry about my kids lunches. My oldest one loves when I do cute lunches for her, with some notes and many small boxes -)) She dreams that one day I will make her bento box-)) Maybe one day..-)) Very nice recipe, looks simple enough, I did not have experience with squid before. The sauce sound delish!

  50. Nami, I cannot get over the beautiful pictures that you take of your food and the fantastic recipes that you post. First of all, I love squid, I had it many ways but never Asian style but now I know that I should and you really have all the preparatory steps laid out so well, I am sure the dish will be a success when I try it.

    Second, I am sure that your son will have a blast at his camp and whatever you will choose to prepare for his lunchbox, with such a talented mum, he will be delighted with his lunch!

    And I should not forget to mention that I went to my favorite tea merchant yesterday to buy fresh “matcha”, (mine had gotten stale) and I will be baking your green tea cookies today, can`t wait to taste them.

    Have a good week!

  51. Oh Nami you are so cute:) It’s a big adjustment for you but I’m sure both you and your son will get accustomed to the new schedule. I’m sure his camp mates will be jealous of the lunches you pack him.

    I have this weird thing about squid so I’ve never cooked it. Though I do like to eat it in restaurants. Thanks for sharing the miso vinaigrette and happy that I can try it on other things:)

  52. It is not going to be easy Nami. I am doing this every day for my husband and it is not so fun, especially when you wake up in the morning. I always run like crazy to have everything ready before he leaves for work. Sometimes it is overwhelming. Needs stamina and commitment which I am sure you have them both! I love squid and we eat it a lot in Greece. This one looks very tasty and unique!

  53. For years when we commuted into NYC to work, my wife and I packed lunches. We always made them the night before, because we were always in a rush every morning (we had a train to catch!). That kind of limits what you can pack, however. Anyway, nice recipe. I’m one who likes squid, but almost never makes it. This is a great recipe for a novice – one of the biggest problems some people (me!) have is overcooking it – which makes it tough. Here you’re cooking it so briefly that won’t be a problem. And the miso adds such nice flavor! Good recipe – thank you.

  54. Hope your son adjusts soon will take a while but am sure that with such yummy packed dishes as you make in his lunch box- he will soon :)
    This looks so yummy Nami. I LOVE fried calamari but never tried boiled one- I m guessing that this will have the same texture as boiled cooked shrimp? Love miso dressing that you made -I got a bottle of miso last week & have been adding it to soups a lot – can wait to try this way!

  55. I am sure you will do nicely with your sons lunches, and I bet his friends will be begging to share! I am “adopted Italian” (family friends) and every Christmas eve for years now, we prepare fresh squid and incorporate it into a pasta sauce :)
    This is such a wonderful and beautiful dish, and that miso vinaigrette is just a delight!
    Hugs :)

  56. I know what you are going through..I went through the same thing when my daughter went to school because it was a full day.
    I know you and him will manage just fine..there will be a few bumps and some returned lunches that were not eaten but then you will find a system and you will both enjoy it
    I know I say this alot but I am really not a seafood person but if it is something from your kitchen I would eat it with a big smile and ask for seconds!

  57. It’s a mother’s lot in life to worry if her son is eating. 😉 I have to admit, I’m not a fan of squid at all (find it rubbery and strange), but you make it look so pretty!

  58. Hi Nami!
    This looks like a quick and easy squid dish to prepare. My husband adores seafoods and cannot have enough of anything that came from the sea. Not kidding 😉 Anyway, I am sure you are proud of your little boy taking advanced classes pretty soon. My daughter dreams of becoming a mermaid too, but I am thinking it is too early for her to have swimming classes, perhaps next summer. Thanks for sharing your recipe, by the way =)

    Myfudo here…Normally we’d never put a shameless plug back to us, but we just launched our new site and we would love for you to be a part of it. I’d love to share our newest launch with you, I hope you don’t mind? Now that we are getting a new look…Myfudo is moving to a new domain This has been a project we have been working on for almost a year now. We just launched our new gallery submission site, and we are just thrilled. We’d be proud to have your work as part of our growing collection to continue to have a larger reach and further inspire all fellow food lovers out there! Please sign up and check us out (it’s free)
    We look forward to seeing your wonderful pictures, as always.
    p.s. We are hosting a Kitchen Aid Mixer Giveaway to celebrate our new Yumgoggle site, we hope you’ll participate =)

  59. Maria at Your Smart Kitchen

    This is wonderful Nami. I love boiled squid since I was young, perhaps mom’s tradition where we cheer up the moment we learn it’s squid we’re having for dinner. Boiling it with your miso vinaigrette surely will make it a mix of classics and modern. Perfect to bring me back to long ago. Great recipe. Thanks!

  60. Ceres93

    Hi Nami!
    I’m a big fan! :) I have just one question about this recipe…I was wondering if you need to use shiro miso, or can you use a different type of miso like koshi miso?

    • Hi Ceres93! Thank you so much for your kind words! :) “Koshi” is not a kind of miso, so I assume it says “Aka (red)” koshi miso etc.

      For this particular recipe, I recommend shiro or awase miso, but not aka miso. Hope this helps. :)

  61. Koji

    You totally rock! You awakened the little Japanese boy in me. I’m 42 now but this very receipe, and subsequent dish instantly took me back to the shores of Hokkaido before my family moved to the States. Thank you for sharing the receipe and the step by step instructions. You gave me a chance to share some soul food with my kids who have just enough japanese in them to love this yummy dish!

    • Hi Koji! Thank you so much for your kind feedback! I’m so happy you liked this recipe! It’s so simple yet very delicious bribing out nice flavor of squid. :) So happy to hear that this reminded you of your home!