If you look at the ingredients you will think this dish is Italian or Spanish origin as it is cooked like a polpo (Italian) or pulpo (Spanish) in olive oil and garlic but instead of octopus, this Filipino version uses baby squid. I am unsure of its origins but one thing for sure it comes from the culinary capital of the Philippines, Pampanga where it is popularized by Abe’s restaurant and other Kapampangan restaurants in Metro Manila.
The first time I had this, it instantly reminded me of some of the dishes we had in Barcelona when we had our vacation there last year, almost similar in taste but instead of this being a tapas this is mainly eaten as a viand with rice, but having said that there is no stopping you to have it as an appetizer of pulutan It’s quite a very simple dish to prepare, just sauté some garlic over olive oil, add squid and calamansi, then season with soy sauce and spices.
Place pan in stove over low heat. Add a good amount of extra virgin olive oil then sauté garlic until light brown and fragrant.
Increase heat to medium then add baby squid, bay leaves, paprika and cayenne pepper, cook for 3 minutes or until squid is just cooked, residual heat will continue the cooking process, flip squid once during the cooking process.
Season with salt, soy sauce and freshly ground black pepper.
Add calamansi juice one tablespoon at a time, adjust sourness to your preference.
Turn off heat, place in a serving plate then garnish with toasted garlic on top. Serve.