Next to shrimps and crabs, squid (or pusit in Filipino) is my favorite seafood...and though I love adobong pusit and calamares, this is how I enjoy it the most..
This is called Rellenong Pusit (Stuffed Squid) in the Philippines. Relleno is a Spanish word which means filling, but Filipinos use it to refer to anything stuffed and is one of the many culinary influences that we got from Spain. Filipinos stuff almost anything --- from vegetables like eggplant and ampalaya to chicken and seafood like fish, squid, crabs and even mussels.
The traditional Rellenong Pusit is stuffed with sauteed ground pork and vegetables like carrots, celery and tomatoes, and then pan fried. But this one that I'm sharing with you today is a little different. Not only is it baked, the filling is also different. It's made of spinach and tofu(though it also has a little ground pork, just to be sure that my daughters will eat it)!
This is really a very appetizing and healthy way to enjoy squid. It may look a little complicated but it actually isn't. Just clean the squid, do a little sauteing and stuffing, and VOILA - a delicious Rellenong Pusit! Check it out...
- 3 medium sized squid (about 2 lbs in total weight)
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 14 oz. tofu, fried and cubed
- 1 bundle spinach, washed and trimmed
- 1 medium sized onion, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro for garnishing
- 1 lime or lemon, cut into wedges
- salt and pepper
1. Clean the squid. Remove the innards, the beak (which is a bony piece of inedible cartilage that it is located at the base of the tentacles), the thin transparent cartilage from the body of the squid, the ink sac and the skin. Wash and drain.
2. Sprinkle squid with 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Let sit in a shallow container. for about 15 minutes. Mix soy sauce and lime juice and pour onto the squid. Let sit for 15 minutes more.
3. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, saute garlic in 3 Tbsp olive oil until light brown. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add pork and cook for about 10 minutes. Add spinach, remaining garlic powder and fish sauce. Saute for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to suit your taste. Add the fried tofu and mix well. Remove from heat and allow to cool down.
4. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a baking dish with remaining olive oil. Stuff squid with cooked filling. Secure the opening of each squid using a toothpick. Arrange in prepared baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil
5. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 5 minutes more. Serve warm. Garnish with chopped cilantro and lime or lemon wedges.