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Fresh squid in ice

How to Clean Squid for Adobong Pusit

Adobong pusit is a seafood variation of the Filipino classic. Its history varies – with some claiming it originated from a similar Spanish recipe and others believing it’s from Occidental Mindoro. Regardless, it’s become quite popular on its own. While it’s easy to enjoy, preparing it isn’t as simple.

Buying pre-cleaned squid is an option, but it’s not always in the budget. Getting a whole squid is more sulit and prepping it yourself can be faster with these tips.

How to Clean Squid

Cleaned squid on chopping board

Follow these six simple steps to clean and prepare your squid before cooking. Before you begin, make sure your squid is fresh or fully thawed. You need a chopping board and a small knife. 

  1. Start by firmly holding the tail in one hand and the head in the other. Pull apart with a slight twisting motion, the head and innards should easily slide out of the body.
  2. Keep the squid’s body and tentacles only. Discard the innards (keep this if you want to harvest some ink), and separate the head at the top of the tentacles by cutting just under the eyes. Then remove its beak by squeezing the tissue connecting the top of the tentacles until the small bony piece of cartilage (the beak) comes out.
  3. If you like squid ink, the ink sac, which looks like a small black vein, is located inside the innards. To get the ink out, carefully poke a small hole with the tip of your knife and squeeze it out to save for later.
  4. To prepare the tail or the tube body, you must first remove the clear, cartilage inside as it is not edible. It looks almost like a thin shard of glass. Simply poke your fingers into the tube to find the cartilage and pull it out.
  5. To make your pusit more presentable, peel off the spotty skin. Then wash the inside of the tube thoroughly to make sure it is clean of any leftover innards, and pat dry.
  6. Now your squid is cleaned and ready to cook! Leave it whole to stuff it full of rice or vegetables, or cut it into rings to mix into your favorite squid recipes.

Your Ultimate Adobong Pusit

Adobong pusit served in a white bowl

Now that you know how to clean squid, try learning how to cook adobong pusit. Before you begin, remember the kind of squid you buy is crucial. Smaller squid is more flavorful than larger ones, but be careful not to overcook your seafood. Overcooked squid is hard to chew. In case this happens, continue cooking the squid longer until it becomes less rubbery. Now you can go ahead and make adobong pusit.

This traditional way to prepare this dish is similar to chicken adobo. Heat a pot and pour in soy sauce, vinegar, and water. Bring it to a boil. Once the water bubbles, add your squid and simmer for about five minutes before turning off the heat. Remove the squid to set aside.

In another pan, heat some oil, then sauté garlic, onions, and tomatoes. Add the squid as well as the soy sauce vinegar mix from earlier. Bring the water to a boil again and simmer for three minutes. Add in some ink, salt, pepper, and sugar, and simmer for three more minutes before serving.

Classics are always good, but you can put a personal spin on any dish. You can bump up the flavor of this traditional pusit dish in many ways. Try taking inspiration from existing adobo dishes like ginataang adobo, for example. It uses coconut milk to add a rich and subtle sweetness. To make things even easier, add a sachet of Knorr Ginataang Gulay mix to the soy sauce marinade while cooking.

Alternatively, give your dish a kick of spice by adding some chopped fresh chilies and sautéing them with garlic and onions. You can also try sprinkling chili just before serving. Love garlic? Amplify that flavor by sprinkling your finished dish with some fried garlic chips.

There are endless ways to make adobong pusit your own, and now there is no need to think twice about cooking it. Just remember, there are only six simple steps to cleaning squid. Practice – that means cooking up more squid dishes!

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