A Tiny Delicacy in the Philippines

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AAG Philippines with Erin Wingerter, Office Manager

Naturally after thoroughly enjoying a giant stuffed squid at a restaurant I wanted to try and cook my own. To celebrate the completion of my first two weeks in Manila I decided to go for it. At the grocery store I could not find any squid so I asked the fish guy if they had any squid. He smiled a smile that said, “Really? YOU are going to be cooking squid?” He directed me toward the below squid. I was disappointed at the size. I plopped a few of them in a bag and started to walk away.

I paused, spun around and asked, Do you have anything, ummm, bigger?

He laughed out loud and motioned for me to follow him. I won’t tell you where I got it (that’s between me and fish guy).

As you can see he obviously understood my go big or go home mentality.

I picked up the remaining ingredients I would need for the meat stuffing and rushed home, excited about the prospect of cooking my first ever squid. I had previously found a recipe for cooking octopus. I assumed that squid and octopus are pretty similar so I could cook them the same way (keep in mind that my cooking experience in Austin has been putting cereal in a bowl and adding milk).

I only had one fairly small pot so Tiny (yes, I named my giant squid) had a bit of a cozy fit during his final moments.

I know you are on the edge of your seat now wanting to know just how wonderful my squid turned out. Life isn’t a fairy tale kids. After 20 minutes (according to the octopus recipe) of boiling in it’s own “juices” I wasn’t sure how to check and see if it was done so similar to meat I stabbed it. To my surprise and dismay “Tiny” began to leak black as night ink. Hoping this was just a little that didn’t get washed out I decided to cut “Tiny” open. Not great. I about fell on the floor laughing. Apparently I should have taken the time to get a recipe for an actual squid.

Final product? A lovely meat, garlic, onion and eggplant stuffing with sweet chili sauce. Delicious! Granted not what I had in mind when I first started out but a highly entertaining experience and now I can say that I have cooked a giant squid (I don’t have to include that “Tiny” was not actually edible when all was said and done).

So get out there, take a risk and try cooking an international dish!

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