As we’re on the last leg of summer here in Southern California, G and I have been firing up the grill more than ever. We might whine and grumble about the hot weather but we do love the picnics and BBQ parties we get to enjoy during warmer months.
Today was a sweltering 90 F degrees so I was surprised when G announced out of the blue that he was going to barbecue hamburgers outside on the patio. How he could even consider cooking on a blazing pit in this scorching heat is totally beyond me. I mean, I barely have the energy to get my lazy bum off the couch due to heat exhaustion!
But hey, whatever makes the man happy, I am all for it. Besides, who I am to deny him the pleasure of preparing my lunch? 😂
Since he had the charcoal going for the beef patties anyway, I decided to throw in a couple of jumbo squids to grill as well. With the temperature as it was, it just felt like a margarita kind of afternoon and sisig pusit seemed like the perfect pulutan to go with the drink I had in mind.
Oh, my! Was it the perfect pulutan indeed. Addicting and delicious, this is one incident where the accompaniment eclipses the star of the show. I was digging into my sisig appetizer nonstop I just about forgot my cocktail drink!
If you’re looking for an appetizer that’s easy to prep yet packs big, bold flavors, this sisig pusit is it! The squids are seasoned simply with salt and pepper and then briefly grilled over hot coals until tender and juicy. They are then chopped into bite-size pieces and very quickly tossed over high heat in a spicy and tangy calamansi dressing for the perfect finish.
A few things to note for best results, do not overcook the squids on the grill as they will toughen and will be hard to chew. Although you can use smaller size squids for this sisig, I prefer the large ones as they seem to fare better with longer cook times. Also, make sure to set your heat on high and your pan is sufficiently hot when the chopped squid are tossed with the onion mixture and the citrus dressing or you’ll end up with a lot of liquid in the dish. Other than that, enjoy!
- 2 jumbo squid (about 2 pounds)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small onion, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and minced
- ½ red or yellow bell pepper, seeded, cored and diced
- ½ green bell pepper, seeded, cored and diced
- 3 to 4 Thai chili peppers
- ¼ cup calamansi juice
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- Hold the tail tube portion of the squid and with fingers, grasp the cuttlebone (the thin, clear cartilage inside the tube) and pull from the squid's body. Remove black ink and discard. Wash the squid and drain well.
- Season squid with salt and pepper to taste. Let stand for about 10 to 15 minutes. Grill squid over hot coals for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
- Remove squid from heat and allow to cool to touch. Chop into bite-size pieces and keep warm.
- In a bowl, combine calamansi juice, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until combined and set aside.
- In a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat, add butter. Add onions, garlic, ginger, bell peppers, and chili peppers. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 1 to 2 minutes or until aromatic.
- Add squid and calamansi mixture. Toss for about 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.