Greek Recipes

Greek and Cypriot recipes

How To Defrost and Prepare Frozen Squid (Calamari)

Frozen squid is a great choice even when fresh is available. Freezing and thawing helps break down some of the tough muscle fibers and the squid may be more tender. Frozen squid is sold as tubes (cleaned bodies) and tentacles, or already cut into rings for frying or other recipes calling for rings. Follow these easy steps to defrosting and preparing the squid for cooking.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: varies

Here’s How:

  1. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator or under cold running water (about 1 1/2 hour per pound of squid).
  2. If the squid needs to be cleaned, follow the steps in How to Clean Squid.
  3. If the squid has been cleaned, after thawing run it under cold running water and run your hands around the rings, tubes, and tentacles just to make sure no small pieces of sand or other debris remain.
  4. Set aside and drain.
  5. If not using immediately, store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Once thawed, use within 3 days.


  1. Small frozen squid are generally more economical to buy whole in 5 lb. boxes. To divide, partially defrost just until the squid can be removed. Place it in freezer bags in smaller quantities and refreeze. Guide: about 8 small squid with tentacles = 1 pound.

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