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Dec 29, 2009 09:42 AM

Frozen Squid. What if I only want PART of the box?

We love squid...but can only buy it in area oriental markets in 3 pound boxes, frozen. If I thaw the entire box, we end up with too much squid. Years ago, I used to ask store meat cutters to buzz saw the boxes in half, length wise, following the "lay" of the squid in the box. Not much loss, and this worked well, keeping all frozen. No one wants to do that anymore, sigh. Can I thaw, prepare & cook ALL of the box,..then freeze? Any ideas for dealing with smaller portions of squid from the frozen boxes?

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  1. When I have anything frozen and stuck together (peas, corn, burger patties) I just throw it onto the kitchen floor (ceramic tiles, commercial grade). Breaks up into individual pieces pretty easily.

    If you are worried about your floor, walk outside and throw it on the sidewalk.

    I woud not thaw and refreeze anything. (Cooking it all then freezing a meal, though, is OK)

    1. When I want to separate a block like frozen chicken or seafood, I put it in a non-leaking plastic bag and submerge it in cold water for a little while (depends on size and contents), just enough to thaw the exterior ever-so-slightly, then unwrap, insert a sturdy knife or cleaver, or even a screwdriver, and whack with a mallet to pry into separate sections. Promptly wrap and refreeze the remainder. That little bit of thawing does no harm.

          1. re: Peg

            Thanks for the comments. I kinda like the throw-it-at-your-floor routine. Good way to take out my frustrations. Our floors are all porcelain tile, that would no doubt take the "whammo". But the three dawgs may never come in the kitchen again? And,..the "glass-breaker" security devices might go hog wild?

            With any kind of fish/shellfish... I also do not think it is wise to re-freeze even partially-thawed packages.

            The Ginzou knife looks like it might work? Done with the "lay" of the squid, it might not mutilate too many critters.

            There is a fair amount of water between the squid. They appear to be a little "glazed" before freezing (I assume to help prevent freezer burn... and make extra sheckles?). Soooo...don't know if a hammer and chisel will work, but I may have to resort to this.

            Has anyone ever cooked the remaining, prepped/cleaned, critters... then... try re-freezing the lot? I have parboiled fresh crabs and lobsters with success. Possible with frozen squid??

            1. re: PotShard

              The cooked squid will be extremely rubbery by the time you've thawed and reheated it.
              As for my suggestion above, the squid doesn't even get to the point of partially thawing - all that has happened is that the ice around it has weakened. I can assure you I would not refreeze thawed raw seafood. The general rule on refreezing partially thawing animal protein (unadvisable more because of texture than safety) is that it's okay as long as there are still planty of ice crystals in it - and I'm not even talking about
              going that far.

              I'd be careful about flinging it onto the porcelain tile, which may crack before the block of squid does.

            2. re: Peg

              This sounds really stupid, and makes a terrible smell, but I do a variation on the chisel hammer suggestion (I once had a whole frozen halibut that was cut into sizes too large).
              Basically, take a cheap butter knife and heat it over a gas flame until really hot, then use it on the ice to begin to saw through, keep repeating until you have a rough outline, then use a meat hammer to pound down on the knife to begin to chisel through it until you have the pieces you desire. =D

              Personally, I wouldn't cook them all and refreeze. It seems you would suffer greatly on the quality especially seeing as reheating the squid could easily toughen them.

              1. re: AndrewK512

                Andrew... Sounds like you have a good idea there. May be a little aromatic in the beginning,..but my primary concern is all about the future quality of the "remaining" squid that I shove back into the freezer. I, too, am concerned about the toughness of the squid, if they are cooked and re-frozen. I do have a big, weighty, rubber mallet .....hmmmm.
                Innovative solution. Thanks.