Squid is considered a gourmet delight in many countries throughout the world. Calamari is the Italian word a type of squid that has fins along the full length of the body. Its meat is chewy, mild, firm and sweet. The tentacles are edible, but the tube-shaped body is the section most often used in food preparation. Calamari tubes are typically cut in strips across the tube width and the resulting rings are prepared many ways, including deep fried, pan fried, stir-fried, grilled and braised. The key to avoiding tough, chewy calamari is to cook it quickly. Defrosting is the first of a number of steps required to prepare your calamari for cooking.
Put the frozen calamari in a bowl with a cover and set it in the refrigerator overnight. This method of thawing is the most time-consuming.
Place the frozen calamari in an airtight plastic bag. Place the bag in a sink with cool running water for a shorter thaw time. This method thaws at the rate of approximately 30 minutes per pound.
Place the frozen calamari in the microwave oven for the fastest thaw time. Set the oven on the defrost cycle. Allow approximately four minutes per pound.
Store the calamari in the refrigerator in an air-tight container until you are ready to prepare it.
Prepare your calamari within three days of thawing.
Avoid purchasing calamari that has a strong, fishy smell. Look for squid that is shiny, firm and gray, not pink or purple.