In the Philippines Adobo is a method of cooking that uses vinegar. Vinegar has and is always been a key ingredient in Philippine cuisine primarily because it helps preserve food. This held specially true during the Spanish colonial times when most do not have access to refrigeration, to make food last longer.
Nowadays, it’s purpose is not only for preservation but more for flavoring. Filipino food is characterized as either salty, sour, bitter or sweet or a combination of these.
The most popular form of adobo is Adobong baboy or Pork Adobo which I blogged about here. Adobo is not only a cooking method for meats but seafood as well.
Adobong pusit (squid) is the second most popular form of adobo. The key to making this dish is getting the freshest squid you could possible. I was finally able to get some while food shopping early morning at an Asian grocer. After living here in the East coast for more than a decade this was the first time I have ever seen fresh squid at a market. I usually only find frozen ones which won’t do for this recipe.
First, clean your squid by gently pulling the head with it’s tentacles from the body.
The innards which is on the lower part of the head contains the ink sac, gently remove this with your fingertip and place in a small bowl. You will need the ink sacs to flavor your adobo and to achieve the black color you want for this dish.
Rinse and remove the innards from the head and set aside. Take the body and remove the cartilage from inside by pulling it, don’t worry it will slide out easily. Then rinse the inside of the squid and remove any innards left. Repeat the procedure for the rest of the squid.
To make, heat a medium sized pot and add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Then saute until fragrant 2-3 cloves finely chopped garlic. Add your cleaned and prepared squid and stir fry for a bit. Then pour in the ink sacs you have set aside and add about 1/4 cup cane vinegar.
Add salt and pepper to taste and cover. Cook and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Do not overcook because the squid will get tough and rubbery. Serve with steamed white rice.