Noun: squid / skwid: -“An elongated, fast-swimming cephalopod mollusk with ten arms (technically, eight arms and two long tentacles), typically able to change color”…
--Source: Tagalog English Translations and Dictionary.
Adobong Pusit / Squid Adobo is a very popular dish in the Philippines; want to know the reason why? Well, Filipinos love squid no matter how it is cooked and Adobo is definitely a Filipino’s top choice when it comes to cooking any dish.
Adobo is easy to fix and a very versatile dish since it can accommodate just about any main ingredient such as pork, poultry, beef, seafood, or vegetables.
So, with that being said making Adobo with Pusit is a win-win situation, you basically have the best of both worlds so to speak.
However, there is a downside to cooking Pusit; although the dish itself is easy to cook, cleaning these little creatures is the total opposite.
I definitely spend more time cleaning these darn things than cooking them.
This is the main reason why I have not been able to cook this as often as I hope for. Okay, let’s get back to the easy and fun part, the cooking part.
Adobong Pusit can be prepared with a short ingredients list; you’re only going to need soy sauce (toyo), vinegar (suka), garlic (bawang), onions (sibuyas), bay leaf (laurel), ground black pepper (durog na paminta), cooking oil (mantika), and salt & pepper to taste. You can either use fresh Pusit or frozen ones. I use what is available here in the Midwest, which is the frozen kind (see photo below).
The Cleaning Part, – Sorry this has to be done first:
Thaw out the frozen pusit and pull all the heads out and separate them from the bodies. Next, remove the clear plastic looking thing inside the body (the “pen”). Then, carefully remove all the innards of the squid. Be patient in this part so that you don’t tear up the body of the squid or end up skinning it.
Once all the body is clean, then you can proceed to the heads. I usually trim the bottom of the head (below the eyes) with a pair of scissors and pop out the ***buccal mass (the beak or “tuka” in tagalog, see picture below), that’s right squids are like chickens they have beaks too. If your squid size are 3” inches or less I wouldn’t suggest slicing it in half, so leave the whole body uncut just like I did. (again, refer to the pictures)
Okay, the worst part is done, now we can proceed to the easy and fun part. Ha, finally!
*** – Squid beaks
- 1 box of pusit (3 Lbs. or 1.4 kilogram)
- 1 medium sized onion, thinly sliced
- 12 Cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
- 3 Bay leafs
- 1 Tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 Tsp. salt
- 1 Tsp. MSG or vetsin (it’s optional, so don’t complain!)
- 2 Tbs. cooking oil
- 1/2 Cup soy sauce
- 1/4 Cup vinegar
- 1/4 Cup water
- Combine all the ingredients in a pot (make sure it’s big enough) with the exception of the garlic.
- At this point, only put half of the smashed garlic and save the other half for later in the cooking process.
- Mix all the ingredients well, cover the pot with the lid, and let it cook for 6 minutes.
- Then, remove the cover and add the rest of the smashed garlic.
- Stir it well, cover the pot, and let it cook over medium heat for another 6 minutes.
- After those six minutes, you may taste the pusit and add more salt & pepper if needed.
- That’s it, now you can serve this over rice and enjoy it since you worked hard to cook this thing.