Pancit Pusit a la Marketman


I happen to really LOVE a dish of deep dark black adobong pusit. To get it jet-black, naturally, you need a lot of squid ink, or ink from larger squid to augment the natural ink in the smaller variety… We were tinkering around the kitchens and came up with this amazingly dark black adobong pusit, above and I thought it was delicious AND oddly photogenic. Then I remembered I wanted to experiment with a black pancit…


I sautéed some onions, garlic and chili, added some made-from-scratch fish broth, added in several sacs of squid ink, a bit of fish sauce and soy sauce, then the squid rings and tentacles and let this simmer until done. Taste it, it should be a tad on the salty side, then add pre-soaked bihon noodles and cook until done. I winged the proportions, and wasn’t completely satisfied with the results so adjustments need to be made to ingredients included — but you get the picture.


We served the pancit with slices of dayap or biasong (limes) and garnished with chopped kinchay and it needed a touch more fish sauce as well. But it was unusual and delicious. Perhaps some crushed chicharon on top for texture and added richness would be a nice addition. No one in our office had ever tried this before (nor had I) so it was a new thing for them… but all of the platters were wiped out by the end of lunch… :)


30 Responses

  1. instead of bihon noodles, i use sotanghon noodles when i cook this, learned it from my mother

  2. Oh, you finally did it! Looks vey good. Next time don’t forget the crushed chicharon on top and slices of Kamias as “paasim”. :) Bihon or sotanghon is ok. Actually at home, we use the really small pusit so no need to slice it up.

  3. The green pepper on the intensely black background reminds me of dinuguan. Unfortunately, we don’t get that kind of light absorbing black ink squid here, only the ones with the faded photograph sepia brown. At first, I assumed the vinegar here is too acidic and was bleaching the ink, then I thought the freezing process might just have been breaking down its intense blackness but now I’m beginning to suspect that whatever squid reach us here may simply belong to a different species.

    Aside from the well-publicized discoveries of giant squids and other clues to mysteries of the deep that the gradually warming oceans are yielding to scientists, what I have always been is a sucker for cephalopod stories ever since I read Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea as a young boy. Could never get enough of James Mason as Captain Nemo playing the opening of Bach’s Fugue and Toccata in D Minor either. Imagine therefore my amazement and delight when my weekly source for interesting reading recently included this:

  4. they serve this in Asiong’s Carinderia in Cavite City with sliced kamias as paasim. Though theirs need more squid ink and squid rings.

    Footloose – where on earth do you find these articles? :))

  5. Wowow! Looks beautiful- will try this and will sprinkle some fried chopped garlic, too!

    Footloose- you amaze me!

  6. Netoy, do you know about the pancit puso – wrapped in banana leaf, also in Cavite City?

  7. Oh yes Andrea, it’s like pancit guisado, not brown but orangey from achuete with kilawin puso ng saging(sans gata) as paasim! One of my favorite pancit!

  8. That looks amazing! I also adore the blackest adobong pusit, and we have fun tinting our teeth and lips with it (till now!)

    Footloose, my grandma always said, the squid has to be still alive or have just died for the ink to be that black. Because we get the same kind of squid from the Marikina Market but it’s been frozen for a few hours already and the ink is never that intense as what we get in a seaside market in Bataan.

    I ‘ve watched a National Geographic special on those giant squid and the researchers tried to eat them but they didn’t taste good.

  9. @Andrea – I’m glad that Betchay was able to answer your question. I am not from Cavite but went to Asiong’s with my friends the last time I went home. Good food and reasonable prices. If you happen to go there, have a taste of their bottled itlog ng isda (fish roe). They also have this in squid ink and their original version. Sooo good especially with fried fish.

  10. MM try the lumot pusit variety. It has very black ink perfect for your black pancit. We use this kind of pusit for kilawing pusit with black ink perfect.

  11. This type of pancit is quite popular in Cavite. Sotanghon is usually used for this with leftover adobong pusit. Growing up, I thought this is one of those dishes that’s a creative leftover do-over! Was pleasantly surprised to see this at M Cafe’s menu and was once offered to at Lorenzo’s Way! Would be happy to see this in the Zubudagat menu :-)

  12. The Italians make their famous (but less well-known) squid ink pasta, which happens to be quite a bit more pricey than the tomato-based pasta. The real ones taste devine. Nevertheless there are some restaurants I had been to in NYC that used pasta colored “inky” (to simulate squid ink) , I suspect they use black food coloring, and these don’t hold a candle to the real squid pasta. I imagine your version tastes divine as well!!!

  13. @Cielo, i didn’t know that this type of pancit is popular in Cavite because i am from cavite and that’s why i use sotanghon. i just thought nanay only cooked the left-over adobong pusit in another way so that it will not go to waste.

  14. Now they (pansit pusit and pansit puso) sound like amalgams of two left-overs that came to their own thanks to frugal recycling. In any case, I’m still a big fan of all four dishes, whether they come singly or as mergers.

    @Kutzhaar, Grazie per il collegamento.

  15. @little mary – our Cavitena moms’ are on to something! but it is, really, creative way of recycling LO adobong pusit :-) I make it only with sotanghon too.

  16. Hi! I’m sorry this has absolutely nothing to do with the post above, but I just did a search for Kumquats in the philippines and your blog came up! I was super excited to see that they grow and sell kumquats in the philippines, but I still don’t know where I can buy them! Could you direct me to a market where they do? I live in the metro manila area. thanks so much for your help!

  17. Monique, they probably would, though if you have fresh squid they should naturally have ink… if using frozen prepared squid, the sachets would help bring back some color and flavor, but it may be difficult to get this color (in the squid above) that way…

    naomi, I believe kumquats appear around the holidays (December) and into the new year including Chinese New Year in January. They will be at good groceries and fruit purveyors and if you need them in bulk, at markets in Chinatown downtown.

    kurzhaar, thanks for that link…

    Getting over jet lag at the moment, a new post up soon I hope. :)

  18. waaahhhh…. can’t get in to view comments on 50th birthday post….
    definitely going home this october, zubuchon here i come!!!

  19. There is an Italian Restaurant on College Ave (Oakland/Berkeley) that serves spaghetti in black ink sauce. I like it because it reminds me of our adobong pusit. I have not tried making it from my kitchen, wonder of all wonders I received a jar of squid ink sauce from Japan with tomatoes, not sure if it will be the same but will try. Your post sure reminded me of that pasta, but would like to try it on pancit too. And I thought I am already an expert on noodles, didn’t realize there are more varieties than I have tried.

    The ink sachets from Spain works too, but not as great as removing the ink sacs gently making sure it doesn’t break.

    Cheers —

  20. Late to this game, but I add a splash of red wine vinegar to my squid and add some nuclear home-made chili oil (or one very finely sliced de-seeded labuyo) then pour the lot over either spirali or penne. Crumbled Lapid’s chicharon with laman, a smattering of torn cilantro leaves, and a few grinds of black pepper completes the dark ensemble.

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