5/06/2012

kilawen a pusit/laki, squid ceviche

Laki. Or pusit. Squid. Preferably fresh, it's prepared, cooked, and served in a variety of ways. As a soup with souring agents like tomatoes or pias, stewed, as an adobo, grilled, stuffed, as a kilawen, etc. It's an all-year round sea bounty readily available in your local/public wet market.

We came upon this unusually huge laki being sold in a roadside talipapa
along the Maharlika Highway in Tuguegarao City and we preferred
to buy it singly than some smaller ones. This one weighs one and a half kilos!
(Click photo for a larger view)

To take advantage of its pristine freshness, we decided to make
it into a kilawen (ceviche).  The laki was cut, its head and
entrails (its ink sac preserved) removed and set aside;
its plastic-like "bone" or gladius discarded. 
(Click photo for a larger view)

The laki flesh was scalded with boiling water and then simmered with it for some minutes to slightly cook. It should not be overcooked else the flesh will toughen. It should stay soft and succulent.
(Click photo for a larger view)

Cutting the laki flesh into flat, bite-size strips done. Onions and ginger, next.
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Then the calamansi...
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The calamansi is squeezed into, its seeds strained...
(Click photo for a larger view)

... And here's the kilawen a laki or pusit. Thoroughly mixed with the onions, ginger, calamansi juice, and seasoned with some salt (pepper is optional, but chili fermented in vinegar is better). The flesh is so palatable and delicious, succulent and sweet, softly chewy.
(Click photo for a larger view)


Perfect as pulotan (finger food) for drinks.
(Click photo for a larger view)

Meanwhile, the head, tentacles and entrails were cut, with the ink,
 and prepared for a sinigang a pusitWith some tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic.
(Click photo for a larger view)

Saute sliced onions, cracked garlic, some tomatoes. Then add in the sliced laki. Stir fry quickly. Add the squid ink. Stir to evenly mix. Then add some water. Optionally if you it more spicy, add some hot peppers (chili). Boil  and simmer quickly. Season with salt. Put off fire and serve immediately. Do not overcook, or the laki will become tough.
(Click photo for a larger view)
The squid sinigang's savory black soup.
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