Inihaw na Pusit (Grilled Squid)

“Pulutan” is a Tagalog word for appetizer (“pupus” for my Hawaii peeps). Beer gardens abound in Philippine metropolitan areas. These establishments come complete with a line-up of appetizer offerings, not the least among them is “inihaw na pusit” or grilled squid. There is a science to preparing the perfect inihaw na pusit.  It starts with marinating the squid in the right amount of sauce and spices, all the way to the actual grilling in which timing is key.  Over-grilling the squid would make it “rubbery,” so whoever is the designated “griller” can’t be watching the ball game with the rest of the gang — at least until the pusit is ready for the taking.

In the absence of a barbecue grill, one can always resort to the oven broil, or the iron-cast stove top grill pan.

2 pcs large squid, cleaned, tentacles removed

1 tbsp fresh ginger, sliced into thin  strips

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

3 tbsps soy sauce

2 tbsps vinegar

2 tsps brown sugar

1 small lime, squeezed for juice

In a mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, lime juice, ginger and garlic. Using a sharp knife, make several scores on one side of each squid. Marinate the squid, cover with foil, and keep in the refrigerator overnight.  When ready to cook, heat an iron-cast grill pan over high heat on the stove. Place the squid (without the marinade) in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until either side of the squid starts to blacken. If desired, occasionally baste the squid with the marinade. Remove from heat. Heat a sizzling serving plate. Serve the squid on the hot sizzling plate, pouring some of the marinade over the squid for that extra sizzle. Use the remaining marinade as a dipping sauce.


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