We were at the beach last week, with a very good old friend (and his family) from high school that hadn’t been back to Manila in 36 years since we graduated from high school. He tagged along to the Nassau market and surprisingly for a Tuesday morning, we found tons of things to cook for lunch that day. One of the unusual items was this giant squid or “lumot” that I have avoided in the past as I always thought it might be tougher and chewier than I would like. But my “suki” or market vendor convinced me to give it a try.
Weigh up a 1.3 kilo specimen, so fresh it was sticky with mucous.
My suki suggested the squid be skinned to ensure tenderness, so she made short shrift of skinning it (there was a part of me that wondered if it might still be alive!)…
…which took her less than a minute to do…
…and gutted and cleaned the squid as well.
Back at home, rinse the squid to ensure any remaining bits and bobs are removed. Then carefully cut and “score” the skin in a diamond pattern to help prevent curling. Use a sharp knife and cut only part of the way through the squid.
Next, add a marinade made up of soy sauce (I used kikkoman), kalamansi, a touch of vinegar, salt, pepper, homemade tamarind puree and chopped chilies. Let this marinate for an hour or so. Several readers have mentioned on IG that marinating the lumot in milk for a couple of hours helps to tenderize it as well… will have to give that a try sometime soon.
Grill over a medium high heat and note that some squid still curled, as I probably scored it on the “wrong side” (it should be inside the squid rather than outside) and baste with remaining marinade. Cook until just done, this took less than 5 minutes total.
The squid was surprisingly tender, though it had just a bit of chew, but that was a pleasant chew. Do not overcook the squid, it needs just a brush with the fire until opaque and just cooked. This was easy and supremely easy to make if your market vendor is kind enough to clean and skin it for you.