One of the easiest Filipino dishes to cook, adobong pusit was so often served at home when I was a child. Because of an allergy, I don’t make it too often as an adult.
What is adobong pusit? Squid cut into rings then cooked with vinegar, garlic, pepper, patis (fish sauce) and bay leaves. The color of the dish is derived from the squid ink.
Alex loves adobong pusit and, one time, she asked me to show her how to clean fresh whole squids so that she could cook the dish for her father and herself. She served her adobong pusit with lato on the side.
- 500 grams fresh whole squids (the small ones are best for adobong pusit)
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 shallots, sliced thinly
- ½ teaspoon crushed black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 finger chilies, sliced (optional)
- 2 to 4 tablespoons vinegar
- patis (fish sauce) to taste
- Clean the squids (see illustration); save the ink sacs. Cut the squids into rings about a quarter of an inch thick. Place in a strainer to allow excess liquid to drain off. Alternatively, pat the squids dry with paper towels.
- Heat the cooking oil in a shallow pan. Saute the garlic, shallots, pepper, bay leaves and finger chilies until softened and aromatic, about five minutes.
- Add the squid to the sauteed aromatics. Stir. Pour in two tablespoons of vinegar and two tablespoons of fish sauce. Throw in the ink sacs and stir. Bring to a gentle boil.
- Cook the squids just until they change color (squid turns tough with overcooking). Turn off the heat, cover the pan tightly and allow the squid to cook in the residual heat for another two to three minutes.
- Taste the sauce. Add the rest of the vinegar and more fish sauce, if needed.
- Serve the adobong pusit hot.