Chargrilled stuffed squid

Chargrilled stuffed squid

Inihaw na pusit

7000 Islands
Jana Liebenstein

In the Philippines, I buy this dish from friendly vendors by the beach, where fresh stuffed squid, just-barbecued is hard to resist. Nothing goes to waste in inihaw na pusit: the tentacles are chopped and added to the stuffing to cook in the squid’s belly. Filipinos typically don’t remove the outer squid skin, but do so if you prefer.


Quantity Ingredient
4 x 150g squid
80ml soy sauce
1 vine-ripened tomato, finely chopped
2 red asian shallots
or 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
vegetable oil, for cooking
Soy sauce and kalamansi dipping sauce
or Garlic and vinegar dipping sauce
steamed rice, to serve


  1. To clean the squid, hold the body firmly, grasp the head and pull gently, twisting if necessary, to pull away from the body without breaking the ink sac (innards will come with it; use your fingers to scrape out the remainder if necessary).
  2. Remove the backbone from the tube. If desired, remove the skin on the body by running your finger underneath, separating it from the flesh, then peel off in one piece and discard.
  3. Cut the tentacles from the head just below the eyes. Squeeze out the beak at the centre of the tentacles and discard. Wash the tube and tentacles under cold running water to remove any grit.
  4. Place the soy sauce in a shallow non-reactive dish. Add the squid tubes, turn to coat, then refrigerate for 1 hour to marinate.
  5. Meanwhile, to make the stuffing, roughly chop the tentacles, then combine in a bowl with the tomato and shallot; season well with salt flakes and freshly cracked black pepper. Soak 4 toothpicks in water for 20 minutes to prevent them burning during cooking.
  6. Preheat a charcoal or regular barbecue to medium–high. Using a small spoon, push the stuffing into the squid tubes, leaving a 1 cm gap at the top. Use the toothpicks to pinch the tube together and enclose the stuffing. Lightly brush each squid tube with vegetable oil, then cook for 10–12 minutes, turning as they cook, until charred and opaque.
  7. Transfer the stuffed squid to a platter — make incisions on top if serving whole, or thickly slice. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce and steamed rice.
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