Coming home for the holidays means spoiling myself with Mom’s home cooking, and for me that means mostly Filipino/Asian-Pacific Islander dishes. My favorite requests are palabok and pansit bihon; and because I’ve been hankering seafood for many weeks now – and still am despite all the fish dishes I’ve eaten since arriving in California – I asked my Mom if she had any squid and if she could make a dish with them. How fortunate that my mother happened to have squid in the freezer; she pulls foods out of the chest freezer à la Mary Poppins. It’s pretty awesome how she always seems to be prepared to rescue her daughters’ food cravings; and between my sisters and me, we have many.
Squid adobo, or adobong pusit as known in Tagalog, is stewed squid made with simple aromatic ingredients. Since the main ingredient already has a strong flavor, spices or seasonings are not needed. Cooking squid does produce a smell-of-the-sea (though unfishy) aroma, so make sure to have your kitchen window open and the stove fan going if you’re not a fan of ocean smells.
1 lb squid
1 medium sized or 2 small shallot(s), chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 roma tomato, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tbs vinegar
salt to taste
Sauté shallots until soft, then add the garlic and tomato. Add squid and cook over moderate heat. Stir; add vinegar and salt to taste. When squid are slightly opaque, turn off heat. Residual heat will continue to cook the squid.
Smile and serve over warm rice with calamansi or lime on the side.