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Basque grilled squids recipe: chipirons à la Luzienne

Fresh Basque squids with cherry tomatoes

A Basque grilled squids recipe version is called “chipiron à la Luzienne”, “chipiron basquaise” or “Basque xipiron”.

It is certainly one of the most emblematic recipes in the Basque Country.

With our beautiful Atlantic coast, grilled squids are an easily accessible and delicious dish when well prepared.

To help you do this, I have decided to share with you the traditional recipe of the Basque grilled squids or chipiron à la Luzienne.

Fresh squids
Fresh squids

Summary – Basque grilled squids recipe.

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What is a chipiron?

The chipiron is a kind of squid.

Is it easy to cook chipiron Basque style or Basque grilled squids?

Yes, you can even make it easier by asking the fishmonger to prepare the squids for you.

Is there a special place in the Basque Country to eat Basque chipiron?

Yes, it is Saint Jean de Luz and his version “chipiron à la luzienne”. This is the recipe I propose in this article.

But first, is chipiron the French word for squid?

Chipiron is the Basque word for squid. It’s even a special, small, kind of squid.

The French word for squid is calamar or calmar.

In the South-East, they say “supion” or “sépion”.

What do we eat in squid?

We eat his body and tentacles. The latter are the tastiest.

Where to eat Basque grilled squids in the Basque Country?

The charming little town of Saint Jean de Luz, famous for its magnificent waterfront, Louis XIV’s wedding and its festival of dances of the 7 Basque provinces in June, has its own recipe for Basque squids: chipirons à la Luzienne. That is the recipe I am proposing to you today.

On the Spanish side, they are generally prepared “in ink”: “calamares en su tinta”.

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Where to buy fresh squids?

You can try to buy some at Saint Jean de Luz fish auction.

But my favorite place to buy fresh squids is at Capbreton Harbour.

It is the only harbour in France where fishermen have the right to sell their fish directly to the consumer.

The boats land and the fresh fish is directly placed on the shelves for sale!

The prices are low.

A significant detail: you can take advantage of this opportunity to stroll along the waterfront and especially on the pier built on the order of Napoleon III.

How to choose squids?

If you buy them as I advise you at Capbreton Harbour, you won’t have to worry about choosing them properly.

If you buy them elsewhere, choose squids with pearly tentacles and a soft-touch body.

Basque grilled squids recipe.

In Saint Jean de Luz, squids (chipirons) are prepared “à la plancha” (grilled). They are served with rice and onion, tomato, pepper sauce… and Espelette pepper.

This recipe is called “chipirons à la Luzienne”.

Ingredients for the squids recipe.

For 4 people.

  • 20 chipirons/squids.
  • 2 onions.
  • 1 garlic.
  • 1kg of peeled and seeded tomatoes.
  • 3 peppers (red).
  • Olive oil.
  • Sugar.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Cognac.

Tip: ask the fishmonger/fisherman to prepare the squids for you.

How to prepare the squids?

Remove the cartilage by pulling on it.

Then empty the chipiron and wash the ink bag with water.

After removing the skin, cut the body into thin slices and keep the tentacles.

Preparation of the Basque grilled squids.

Put 4 to 5 tablespoons of olive oil in a clay dish.

Heat over low heat and add the chipirons.

Return to low heat for about 3/4 of an hour.

+ Tip: To successfully cook squid, you must either sear them for a few minutes on a high heat (à la plancha) or cook them for a long time on a low heat. Thus the squids remain tender and will not have a rubbery texture.

Meanwhile, chop the onion and fry it in a pan with a little olive oil.

Add the diced tomatoes and peppers, chopped garlic, salt and chilli. Lightly sugar the tomato.

Cook for 35 minutes and then mix.

Pour the sauce over the chipirons and cook gently for two hours.

Before serving, heat a glass of cognac, flambé it and add it to the sauce.

What to drink with Basque squids?

I advise you to accompany it with a good white wine, such as Txakoli, sparkling Basque wine, or a Tokay Pinot gris from Alsace.

Bon appétit!!!

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Conclusion – squids recipe.

Have you ever try a Basque grilled squids recipe?

Do you know of any other recipes based on squids?

Share it with us!

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