I LOVE the baby squid in garlic and olive oil that you find in Spanish restaurants, and I have always wanted to replicate the dish at home. I asked the fish vendor on wheels in our subdivision in Cainta to bring me some baby squid, but he always brought regular local squid, only a little smaller, to me. So I always said no to his squid. Yesterday (Sunday, January 26, 2020), while buying salmon head from him, I noticed a huge plastic bag of baby squid in his cart. The plastic bag (yes, plastic bag, which fish vendors are still unable to eliminate just yet) was transparent, so I was able to see through it. They were really so small, so cute, as they floated around in a sea of black liquid.
Needless to say, I ended up buying a kilogram of baby squid.
Excited with my haul, I divided it into two. I turned one into Baby Squid Adobo, complete with black ink, just the hard transparent backbone removed. The other one, I turned into this Baby Squid in Garlic and Olive Oil that I have always wanted to cook at home but never had the opportunity to. It is the easiest thing to cook, removing the hard backbone being the most difficult part of the preparation. Since I could not remove the ink sacs from the baby squid because they were so small, I washed off the liquid around the cutest little things several times until only a little of the black ink was left, and then I started cooking the dish. In a few minutes, I was done. Had it for dinner and it was really good.
1/2 kg. baby squid
2 Tbsps. olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic, minced, divided into 2
1 pc. siling pansigang (finger chili)
1-2 bay leaves
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1. Wash and clean baby squid, removing the hard transparent backbone, and drain off liquid.
2. Heat olive oil in pan, and fry one portion of the minced garlic until light golden. Remove crispy garlic.
3. In the same oil, add the second potion of the minced garlic. When it starts to turn golden, add the bay leaves, then the baby squid and siling pansigang.
4. Season with soy sauce and black pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, then switch off flame.
5. Plate and garnish with crispy garlic.
6. Enjoy with freshly cooked rice or lightly toasted sliced bread.