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Little grilled squid is a highly popular dish here in Spain. They are delicious and very easy to prepare and served either as an appetizer or as part of the main meal. This dish is similar to the traditional calamari dish we have at home, except these are tiny squid in contrast to the large squid served at home that are cut into rings, and they don’t bread the squid.

The challenge is finding fresh squid, as often frozen squid have a fishy smell and taste. At night, we have noticed families fishing along the docks, jigging fishing lines with fluorescent lures, or a hook and line with fluorescent glow sticks, joyfully filling a bucket with fresh little squid.

If you ever happen to travel to Spain, especially along the coast, I highly encourage you to try Chipirones (little-grilled squid).

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Marinade Time: 10 minutes

Grill Time: 8-10 minutes


2.2 pounds (1 kilo) small whole squid, cleaned

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

6 medium garlic cloves, finely diced

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground paprika

½ teaspoon dried thyme

4 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped


Clean squid, drain, then dry with paper towels.

Combine ingredients and marinate for at least 10 minutes, up to 2 hours refrigerated.

At least on my boat, after marinating the squid, I add 2 sheets of aluminum foil to the grill. Set the grill at medium heat, and place the squid tentacles and bodies spread over the grill with space between them.

Sprinkle garlic and herbs over the squid, then grill on each side for about 4-5 minutes until lightly browned and serve.


Steven Masley, MD