Like the ginisang pusit we have in our recipe archive, adobong pusit sa gata begins with first simmering the squid in vinegar and then sauteing in onions, garlic and tomatoes. They are, however, differentiated by the addition of coconut milk and chili peppers to the latter for a richer and bolder flavor.
Although squid is an easy ingredient to prepare, it can also prove a bit tricky. It cooks in a flash and can considerably toughen even with a few extra minutes in the pan. A good pot of ginataang pusit is kinda like a balancing act. You want that delicious stage where the coconut milk has reduced enough to render fat but without overcooking the squid. To achieve a thick sauce while maintaining the tenderness of the squid, I apply a two-part cooking process. I briefly simmer the squid adobo-style in vinegar and I then cook off the coconut-based sauce before returning the squid back to the pan to soak up all the creamy goodness. Try it for dinner tonight and please let me know what you think.
- 2 pounds squid
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- ½ cup vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 to 2 Thai chili peppers, stemmed and minced
- 1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and julienned
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 cup coconut milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- Holding the squid firmly, pull the head from the body including internal parts and tentacles. Pull out the clear cartilage inside the tube and discard. With a knife, cut the head and the ink sack from the tentacles. Set aside the tentacles. Peel the spotted outer membrane from the squid and discard.
- Under cold running water, wash the tentacles and the tubes inside and outside to remove any remaining tissue or debris. Drain well and pat dry. Cut the body into rings by slicing vertically.
- In a pot over medium heat, combine squid, 2 cloves of the garlic, vinegar and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil for about 3 to 5 minutes or just until squid changes color. Remove from heat and drain, reserving about 1 cup of the liquid.
- In a pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions, ginger, chili peppers and the remaining ½ of the garlic. Cook until limp and aromatic. Add tomatoes and cook, mashing with back of spoon, until softened. Add fish sauce and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add coconut milk and the reserved liquid. Bring to a simmer. Continue to cook until liquid is reduced and begins to render fat. Add squid and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.