Char-grilled baby squid with a touch of spice sea lettuce broth with black shallots

Chipirones a la parrilla sazonados con un matiz picante. Caldo de lechuga de mar
Chef: Josean Martínez Alija
Country: España
City: 48001 Bilbao (Vizcaya)
Address: Abandoibarra Etorbidea, 2
(+34) 944239333

More than one guest has been known to ask what is in this dish. The answer: lucidity. Josean Martínez Alija is a chef capable of marking a difference by establishing the message and the components. He preserves the identity of the baby squid here completely, using small specimens in the summer and, when none are available, rings of begi haundi (larger squid). He then gives the dish a few graceful touches, including a lightly smoked flavor that intensifies the rustic impression and a light spice from the garlic and cayenne pepper. A lucidity that goes beyond the main ingredient and into the complements: broth and garnish. The broth intensifies the marine element of the cephalopod, which is more clearly distinguished by the sea lettuce. The garnish is sapid and colorful: sweet, glazed black shallots – blackened by the squid ink. A faint memory of traditional flavors created with boastful genius.

The Recipe

Baby squid

  • Shallot
  • Shallot plant
  • Squid ink
  • Poultry stock
  • Oil
  • Fine salt
  • Rice and sea lettuce broth
  • 3 l vegetable stock
  • 480 g shallots, julienned
  • 90 g green celery, julienned
  • 240 g bacon in cubes
  • 240 g rice
  • 120 g sea lettuce, washed


Choose small baby squid and do not break the skin. Clean well and stuff the body with the tentacles.
Preparation: Have a char-grill prepared with embers to smoke the baby squid. 10-15 minutes before roasting them place them on a grille and sprinkle the embers with sunflower oil to create smoke and give them that lightly smoked flavor.
For cooking: season the baby squid with salt and brown them lightly on a grill, being very precise about their doneness. The tentacles, on the other hand, should be well browned to bring out the flavor. Cover the tray with oil aromatized with garlic and cayenne (for the light spice), then drain off the excess oil and season with Welsh salt.

Peel the shallot and season with salt. In a non-stick pan place a few drops of oil and brown the shallot on all sides. Add the stock blackened with the ink and cover the shallots completely. Continue to deglaze until finished, keeping the shallots hot.

Sweat the bacon in oil, add the vegetables and cook until just before browning. Remove the excess fat, place into an induction pan and add the stock and rice. Cook for 18 min over low heat, then strain through a conical strainer to obtain a rice flavored broth. Pour into another pan with the sea lettuce, continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Leave to sit for 15 more minutes off the heat to let the flavors take hold, strain through conical strainer and adjust the seasoning.


On a deep dish place the shallots mixed in with the baby squid and finish by adding the sea lettuce broth.