Mimaropa (Region IV-B) also known as Southern Tagalog Islands is composed of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan. The region has a diverse and eccentric cuisine. Marinduque is popular for its Bibingka Lalaki (Male Bibingka), a rice cake that uses tuba or coconut wine; and Arrowroot cookies. Romblon is popular for its dish called Sarsa that is made from boiled coconut, chilies, and tiny shrimp. Palawan is popular for tamilok (shipworm, a worm-like mollusk.) Mindoro’s rich marine life strongly influences the local industry and cuisine. It is popular for Adobong Pugita, Octopus Adobo.
Adobong Pugita is made with a mature octopus that is cooked in soy and vinegar sauce. If cooked perfectly, the dish yields a very flavorful and succulent octopus that is well-matched with steamed rice. It is usually served as a main entree for lunch or dinner or as an accompaniment to beer in the Philippines.
- 1 whole adult octopus, cleaned, cut in bitesize pieces, ink sac carefully separated
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup water for marinating
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 dried bay leaves, optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups of boiling water for blanching
- Marinate the cuts of octopus in soy sauce, vinegar, water, salt and pepper for 45 minutes. Drain the octopus and save the marinade for Step 3. Set the marinated octopus aside.
- Heat oil in a wok or deep skillet. Saute garlic and caramelize the onion for 5 minutes.
- Pour the marinade on the caramelized onion and garlic. Drop the bay leaves in if using. Add the octopus ink. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced. Turn the heat off.
- While the sauce is simmering: bring water to a brisk boil in a separate saucepan. Blanch the marinated octopus for 2 minutes. Drain well.
- Add the blanched octopus to the adobo sauce. Stir to mix and transfer to a serving plate.
- Serve warm with steamed rice.
* Octopus can be substituted with squid.
* Asian stores and seafood markets carry frozen and fresh octopus.
* Do not overcook the octopus. Follow the time indicated in the recipe and watch it closely.