09 Mar2009

A Squid Gutter…

by Marketman


The photo of squid tentacles, ink and guts could almost pass for a work of modern art. I found this tiled counter filled with squid guts at the Burgos market in Bacolod and as soon as I started to photograph the guts, the market’s expert “squid gutter” (my term) appeared to give me a messy lesson in how to quickly and efficiently gut large squid. I am told there is a local restaurant that serves a dish of sizzling squid guts (the fattiest most gelatinous parts only) that is utterly sinful… unfortunately, I didn’t get to try them and I must say that I am not typically a big fan of squid guts…


As you are pulling a large squid (say 400-500 grams or so) out of an icy cooler, rip off the skin and discard before you have even straightened your back.


Then in one swift motion, puncture the body of the squid with your finger…


…and disembowel it, saving the succulent parts on the tile counter and discarding the rest into another bag just below.


Throw the cleaned squid body into a nearby cooler filled with more ice cold water. And start over. The whole process takes some 10 seconds per squid. And I am pretty sure a machine would have a hard time doing this better and faster than the Squid Gutter. And yes, I got serious squid ink splatters all over my legs recording this for all of you wonderful readers. :)



  1. Joni says:

    Squid guts. What a wonderful way to welcome the work week. :) haha

    Sizzling squid guts huh? Interesting…wonder what they put in it…

    Mar 9, 2009 | 1:31 am


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  3. smiles4angels says:

    Adding a little bit of sound effects to your descriptive narration, would probably make me think that I’m actually there. “,)

    Mar 9, 2009 | 1:40 am

  4. toping says:

    Not a fan of squid guts either. Makes me squirm just thinking about it. ;-p

    Mar 9, 2009 | 3:34 am

  5. sanojmd says:

    nah, i dont like the gelatinous part of the squid. makes me wanna throw up but i do love squid especially calamares. but i clean it all up removing all the white gelatinous part if that is what you call guts. i also do that in adobo..and it tastes so much better without the yucky parts.. : )

    Mar 9, 2009 | 3:53 am

  6. renee says:

    but ummm…. It’s the best part!!! LOL

    Mar 9, 2009 | 4:57 am

  7. ntgerald says:

    I have always thought that the white gelatinous part inside the squid is squid belly fat. I hope I am correct, as I love it in adobo squid.

    My workmates and myself love to eat at Tay Yan, inside Robinson’s PLace, Manila. They have fried squid heads ; spicy and crunchy. Yum.

    Mar 9, 2009 | 6:23 am

  8. marilen rodriguez says:

    thank you for taking us on this jolly road trip to bacolod, negros! you are such a fine writer, you take us places with your words and pictures. thank you. Have a blessed day!

    Mar 9, 2009 | 6:42 am

  9. consol says:

    i recall gutting and cleaning a huge ‘pusit lumot’ on the shores of a Boliinao beach, bought from a boatman who just came in from the sea. (i was there with several close friends on holiday.) its body was about 8-10 inches long: my fist fitted right inside the elongated body (i have a medium-sized fist, with a palm approximately 3.5 inches wide). didn’t have any issues about ripping out the guts and disemboweling squid until my friend Edward (who was studying to be a nurse at that time) pointed out that the ”twinkling’ spots on the squid’s body is proof positive that the critter is still alive.(‘twinkling’ is the only way i could describe the alternate enlarging and reducing black spot; why is it so? what are those spots?) ugh! my pity for the squid almost overpowered the collective craving for grilled squid on the beach. i mean, how CAN you disembowel something that stares at you unblinkingly?

    but that day, the baser instincts (hunger plus a desire to avoid being lynched by irate companions) won: my, but that squid was delicious, stuffed with tomatoes and onions and garlic, dipped in toyo/siling labuyo/garlic/kalamansi, and not makunat at all! or can it be that on the beach, tired after swimming and frolicking, you feel as if anything and everything is yummy? hmmm …

    thank you so much dear MM. your post today brought me back to that carefree day on a Bolinao beach. you have shared so much with us, your avid readers, and we eagerly await your posts. thank you.

    Mar 9, 2009 | 7:06 am

  10. jun says:

    The ink is wasted :( I’ll will take them anytime and make a nice arroz negro on it. Search for Arroz negro in the archive MM has done a lot of post on this wonderful dish. It is always a hit on any party and oh pair them with patis, kalamansi and some birds eye chilli to put a bit of local taste into it….Yummy!!!!

    will definitely cook arroz negro and paella one of this day as I bought back some saffron from Philippines it cost a bomb here in singapore and it’s not even from spain.

    Mar 9, 2009 | 9:18 am

  11. bearhug0127 says:

    A restaurant here on Guam serves spaghetti negra. The black sauce comes from the black ink of the squid. However, one is advised not smile since the black ink stays on one’s teeth. LOL!!! The spaghetti is good though.

    Mar 9, 2009 | 9:48 am

  12. AleXena says:

    Im curious as to the difference between a squid and a cuttlefish (lumot) apart from the skin of the other one being redviolet and the lumot being white??? They look and taste the same to me.=)

    I love squid heads! in adobo and in inihaw that’s why I get to feast on them since not a lot of people like it.=P

    Mar 9, 2009 | 10:52 am

  13. Mimi says:

    jun: the price of saffron is reasonable enough at Mustafa, Farrer Park MRT. they come in small clear matchbox-type containers costing less than S$8 per 1 gram, i think… it is from spain because it says safran espagnol, produced and packed in spain on the box. look at the spices section where they have bags and bags of peppers and leaves of all kinds.

    Mar 9, 2009 | 11:08 am

  14. jun says:

    really I always buy my saffron at Tanglin market or Jason Cold storage. They are from Australia and it cost $12 on a few strand which is only good for one cooking lang.

    Thanks for the lead I’ll check from Mustafa next time. Currently my saffron supply I have enough to last me at least for a year this time.

    Mar 9, 2009 | 11:32 am

  15. kulasa says:

    Squid or lumot is best when freshly caught. Consol is right, their skin do “twinkle” when their still alive. I’ve tried them inihaw, abodo, and fried and nothing can beat something that was caught just a few minutes earlier and cooked right after (well you wash and clean them of course). They are really sweet and tender.

    Mar 9, 2009 | 12:59 pm

  16. Maria Clara says:

    Much appreciate what you went through to share this with us. I know how that squid ink smell when left unwashed on your skin. I agree with Jun the ink sac is wasted which is clear money going down the pipe. It is the heart and soul of the arroz negro. Someone up there should come up with the idea to start collecting and preserving the ink sac for future use. There will be a market for their use. The gelatious sac of the squid is the egg part like bihod in fish. I imagine it is very tasty if done right.

    Mar 10, 2009 | 3:45 am

  17. Larees says:

    I still can’t tell cuttlefish and squid apart :(

    Mar 10, 2009 | 11:59 am

  18. corrine says:

    Isn’t calamari the italian word for squid? So, its’ called calamari frito for fried squid?

    Mar 10, 2009 | 11:17 pm

  19. betty q. says:

    Larees; Could it be that the cuttlefish has more of a rounder body (pabilog!) and the squid has more of elongated body?

    You are so right Jun and Maria Clara: sayang the ink sac! Maybe they could FREEZE them in small containers and sell them!

    Mar 11, 2009 | 12:39 am

  20. jun says:

    what I would do to the ink is put them in a sterilize small bottle container with a bit of vinegar or red wine. Steam it to vacuum seal and you got a ready to pour squid ink either on your pasta or arroz negro.

    Mar 11, 2009 | 9:27 am

  21. heartkorean says:

    whoa, that first pic is amazing

    Mar 11, 2009 | 9:53 am


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