Everything You Need To Know About Cooking Pusit

IMAGE Majoy Siason

Squid, or the pusit, is plain delicious. One of the most popular recipes we have is the adobong pusit recipe, and it's no wonder. Squid is a fast cooking ingredient, just like most seafood, but it's heartier, it's tastier, and it's a great alternative to inexpensive fish and pricey shrimps and crabs. 

However, it's easy to mess up when you're handling squid. The most common problem? Overcooking squid and it's easy to do that if you're not careful. 

Photo by Riell Santos

1 Buy squid with its color-changing skin intact. 

When buying squid, note all the things you should with any fresh seafood. There should be no smell other than the ocean. The flesh shouldn't be slimy. The head should still be firmly attached. The eyes should be clear and not cloudy. 

However, squid has another characteristic you should note when looking for the best looking squid: the skin of the squid should be intact, too. Little tears are acceptable. However, if the squid's skin is almost gone from its body, mishandling has occurred or the squid is less than fresh. 

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2 Remove the skin, only if desired. 

The skin is not necessary to remove. You'll find many recipes that don't require the skin to be removed. It's all about aesthetics and how you want your squid to look like once cooked. The skin will shrink when cooked with the flesh. No big deal. 

However, you do have to remove the pen. The pen or transparent spine in the squid is inedible and easy to remove: just pull it out. Learn all about how to properly prepare squid below: 

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Photo by Majoy Siason

3 Cook the arms, too! 

Squid rings are perfect little rounds and these are the iconic shapes when it comes to calamares. However, the arms attached to the head is super tasty and yet, many prefer the rings which have less flavor! If you love squid and calamares, you have to try the arms, too. These spindly appendages actually carry more flavor than the rings and cook even faster than the rings. They are just as tender, too. 

To prepare the arms, just slice between the base of the arms and the eyes of the squid. Before cutting at this spot, however, remember to also pop out the inedible beak. 

Photo by Miguel Nacianceno

4 Keep it cold. 

The enemy of seafood will always be heat. Heat will make your shrimps turn orange even when it's not yet in the pan, and for squid, it can make your squid toughen before you even start cooking. Prevent this by keeping it on ice. Use a bowl of ice when preparing squid. You can always pat them dry when ready. 

Photo by Bianca Laxamana

5 Cook it fast.... or cook it long. 

There is no in-between when it comes to squid. You get rubbery squid when you don't cook it fast enough, and you will get rubbery squid if you don't cook it long enough. However, there's no reason to think this is a bad thing. That's because you need to move fast when cooking squid. When you don't move fast enough and end up with rubbery squid, the solution is to cook it again, but this time, you'll need to cook it long enough that it tenderizes. 

So if you think about it, it's a win-win cooking situation. If you do move quickly enough, you get tender delicious squid. If you don't, you still have a chance to have tender, delicious squid. 


Now that you know everything there is to know about cooking squid, don't be a stranger to the seafood section! Drop on by and don't be afraid to grab a half kilo of squid to cook at home. You won't mess it up and even if you do, you have a chance to remedy your cooking mistake. No one needs to even know you did. 



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