Adobong Pusit (Squid Stewed in Soy Sauce and Vinegar)

Although the word Adobo which originally means seasoning or marinate, originated from Spanish, in Asia this is synonymous to no less Philippine Cuisine. This dish has gone a long way from the quintessential process of stewing the meat in vinegar and soy sauce. Now, there are numerous adaptations as shown in the Adobo Book of Nancy Reyes-Lumen. Apart from the typical chicken or pork, there's also a seafood version. If you prefer to have adobo the faster way, you can substitute the meat with Squid. Thus, for seafood enthusiasts, this is for you to try. However, as squid is also a bit tricky to cook, there are options on wether you want it cook fast or longer as long as the texture doesn't turn out to be tough. For the former, normally the soy sauce, vinegar and spices are stewed first before the squid is added. After the squid is cooked which will only take about a couple of seconds - few minutes, the fire is turned off. For the later option, all ingredients are combined together in a pot and stewed for 45 minutes to an hour. Recently, I was introduced by a visiting aunt to a new way of cooking the dish. I was intrigued by her method of cooking so I asked her to show me. Actually, the dish turned out to be good as well.
What you need: 1 kg squid (cleaned well), 1 med sized onion (chopped), 5 cloves garlic (chopped), 1/4 cup dark or standard soy sauce, 1/4 cup vinegar, 2-3 tbsp canola oil, salt and pepper to taste, 1 1/2 - 2 cups of water

How to make: Saute onion and garlic in canola oil until fragrant. Add in squid, soy sauce and pepper. Saute for 2 - 3 minutes (this will lessen or remove the fishy / animalic smell from the squid). Add water and cover the pot. Cook for 5 minutes. Add in vinegar and continue cooking for 10 minutes or more until the squid is cooked with just the right texture.

For those who have cooked adobo many times, you might hint that this method of cooking will not give a well cooked vinegar note since it's added in the last part. It might be argued further, that it's not given enough time to achieve the right balance of sourness, hence, it might come out too sharp. Well, surprisingly it did not. So, now I have another way of cooking adobong pusit.


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