#Bleak State

Spicy Stir Fry Squid in Dark Sauce (Gisadong Pusit)

For many months since the start of community quarantine in March due to COVID-19 pandemic, all the news that we heard or read seem to point to one direction, it’s the worsening state of the country as everyone grapples for survival, totally in a mess, in a bleak state. Today, the Philippines has already 61, 266 COVID-19 cases, which is said to be the highest in Southeast Asia. With the continued lock down in areas that have high cases, ordinary citizens appeal for additional aid. Jeepney drivers were the most affected as they cannot fully operate until this time especially in urban cities like the National Capital Region (NCR) and Cebu City. My heart worries for them and for others who greatly suffer.

Oftentimes, our feelings and thoughts influence our actions and even our food that we cook, hence this dish – Spicy Stir Fry Squids in Dark Sauce, which we call, Gisadong Pusit. In our place, we love chili so much, that we can’t eat without it, so, I’ll make our version, spicier than the usual.

The ingredients?

The ingredients are simple, 1/2 kg squid (small variant), 1 piece onion, 1 piece ginger, 6 cloves garlic, 2 pieces tomatoes, 3 pieces red chili, 3 pieces green chili, ground pepper, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons cane vinegar, 1 tsp. sugar and 2 pieces laurel leaves, 3 tablespoons cooking oil. The cost of all these ingredients are less than $4.00.

The preparation

Wash and clean the squids. Slice it in half, just below the head. Pull-out the tentacles from the head, and the clear, plastic like skeleton from the body. Cut-off the innards that are connected from the head (when you pulled it off or cut it from the body). Wash with flowing water. Put them in a bowl. Slice the body in halves. Here I use smaller variant of squid. After slicing, rub them with rock salt to cleanse them more. Rinse with water. I didn’t wash all their black inks because I would be needing them to blacken the sauce aside from using soy sauce. Marinade the squids with soy sauce, vinegar, and ground pepper for at least 10-15 minutes before cooking.

The cooking process

In a hot pan, saute garlic and ginger until brown, add in onions and tomatoes. Keep stirring until the tomatoes become tender. Add in the marinated squids without the sauce. Mix them well with the spices. After some minutes, add in the sauce (from the marinade). Bring to boil. Once it already boiled, take the squids out of the pan (to avoid them from being tough/hard when overcooked). Place them in a bowl. Simmer the sauce until it becomes saucy with less water from the marinade. Bring the squids back to the pan, add in the slices of chili and laurel leaves. Taste with soy sauce and sugar.

While I achieved a soft and supple texture of the squids, the marinade makes them more flavorful. Here’s a Spicy Stir Fry Squids in Dark Sauce for seafood lovers!

Published by Maria Cristina Gino Baroso

Education advocate and travel lover

13 thoughts on “#Bleak State

  1. We are also in lockdown here for 6 weeks with 5 more weeks to go. They are also talking about going into stage 4 lockdown 😦 Very sad as most small businesses are struggling and some of them might not even survive to open again after lockdown. Stay safe my friend. Thankyou for sharing your culture and recipes x

    Liked by 1 person

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