14 Feb2015


I am ALWAYS on the lookout for baby squid at wet markets. I like them about an inch in length, and finding this size is getting extremely difficult, with a success rate of roughly once a year (though I only hit the wet markets 2 times a month, so I suppose that’s technically a 1/24 chance on average… I find that squid this size are incredibly tender and tasty, but I suppose there is a bit of guilt eating them so small, so young, in the same manner lechon de leche have to be taken from their mommies when they are at their yummiest… :(


Take a half kilo of squid and clean them, then marinate briefly in some olive oil, lemon, salt generously, add some freshly ground pepper and some chili flakes. Heat up a cast iron or other pan over high heat and cook the squid briefly until just done. They will be moist (not crispy) and very tasty.


I then toasted a slice of french bread, drizzled some olive oil on it, placed two slices of salted local heirloom tomato and piled on the squid a la plancha for a nice hearty bite. I had several. :)



  1. betty q. says:

    MM…I think baby squid are being exported that is why finding them at wet markets could be extremely difficult. However, they are readily available here in the frozen section at any Asian store. They are also very affordable!

    Feb 14, 2015 | 11:20 pm


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  3. Connie C says:

    I love, love baby squid stir fried in ginger, garlic with bell peppers and hot bean paste, a low calorie easy to make dish.

    Hi bettyQ: a day late for a Valentine greeting. Your comments warm the cockles of my liver ( the liver believed by prehispanic Filipinos among other SE Asians as the seat of love)

    For those who heeded MM’s prudent advise about purchasing flowers on Valentine’s Day, they could have done with a borrowed Palawanon verse, a no match to any of the usual Hallmark messages of love : ” On the areca tree by the wayside, / I etched a sign: / My liver hungers for you.”:) A belated Valentine greeting to you all!

    Feb 15, 2015 | 5:55 am

  4. Toping says:

    Connie C, thanks for the tidbit about the liver being traditionally regarded as the seat of love. It helps make sense of the Bisaya expression “makahilis sa atay” (literally, liver-melting), usually used to refer to giddiness.

    Feb 15, 2015 | 8:51 am

  5. Marketman says:

    Toping, I wonder then, where does the Visayan saying “gi atay” comes from… :)

    Feb 15, 2015 | 9:12 am

  6. Toping says:

    “I wonder then, where does the Visayan saying “gi atay” comes from…”

    Aha! Isn’t it revealing that the adjective is commonly used to describe wretched love, as in “gugmang gi-atay”? (The expression predates the popular song.) I’m no etymologist, but I suspect the word took off from there to describe anything wretched, damned, or cursed.

    Feb 15, 2015 | 9:25 am

  7. Toping says:

    And then there’s “kinasing-kasing” (sincere, heartfelt), from the root word for heart. If you ask me, our ancestors got it right: Love resides much lower, in that part of our anatomy that carries with it so much flavor and sustenance but also a lot of bile and bitterness. :-p

    Feb 15, 2015 | 9:36 am

  8. Marketman says:

    Hahaha, good one, Toping…

    Feb 15, 2015 | 9:45 am

  9. apa says:

    Be careful with squid, those babies are high in cholesterol.

    Feb 15, 2015 | 1:22 pm

  10. Marketman says:

    apa, you are right, squid and some other shellfish high in cholesterol, but I would imagine it’s much “better” cholesterol than four-legged animal cholesterol… And since I find these so rarely, the motto has to be consume everything in moderation…

    Feb 15, 2015 | 1:25 pm

  11. Helen says:

    I was able to buy some baby squid in Guadalupe market the other day and was looking for a recipe. Will try yours. Thanks!! Won’t think of the cholesterol…

    Feb 15, 2015 | 8:28 pm

  12. Kasseopeia says:

    I love baby squid and will buy them when I can find them.

    However, I am more interested in the “atay”-themed discussions. I must say, I love how the liver covers the two faces of love: the giddiness and the bitterness.

    Never imagined that’s where “gi-atay” comes from :P

    Feb 16, 2015 | 1:48 pm

  13. Mart says:

    Hopefully we can eventually kill the myth about cholesterol.

    Carbs are the enemy, not fat:

    Baby squid looks quite delish.

    I’ve always wondered about the guilt for baby squid or baby pigs, cows (lechon de leche, veal) or whatever other animal. We also pick some vegetables/herbs when they are young but we don’t see the guilt from doing so. Because of our “programmed belief” that these living things lack the “level of consciousness” attributable to a “higher” life form?
    Where to draw the line? How about young fingerlings? Caviar? Balut?

    Not passing judgement mind you. Just wondering out loud.
    Scientists can look out on a beach littered with baby turtles that have just hatched from their shells and do nothing as the various predatory birds have a feast of easy pickings. They realize that this is just the natural cycle of living; you live in this world, you consume.
    Most non-scientists however would want to save every last one of the baby turtles and, if they had their way, could probably upset some ecological balance between predators and their prey.

    Feb 18, 2015 | 4:11 am


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