Thursday, 28 February 2013

Sambal Sotong (Squid Sambal)

This is a variation on the earlier sambal recipe, blending more aromatic Malay herbs and spices for a more fragrant result. This version is just as spicy and will work well with tofu or other meats such as chicken and prawns too.

A crash course on squid preparation:
If you have bought whole squids but have no experience at cleaning them, it can be rather intimidating at first, but with some instructions at hand, you'll be cooking in no time. Check out how to clean and prepare squid here: 

1 cup of dried chillies, soaked and blended until smooth to form a paste with as little water as possible
1 onion, cut into wedges or thick slices
5-6 garlic cloves
2 cm ginger slice
4 cm galangal slice
1 cm turmeric root slice or 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 lemon grass stalk
1½ teaspoon belacan paste or powder. Alternately, you can use the same amount of dried shrimps
Juice of half a lime
300g of squid, cleaned and scored
1 tbsp white or palm sugar

Blend half an onion, garlic, ginger, chillies, galangal, turmeric and lemongrass with half a cup of water until smooth. Fry the paste that forms in four tablespoons of oil in medium heat.

Cook the paste for about ten minutes or until it becomes drier and darker in colour. Fry the remaining onions and belacan with the paste. Add a cup of water and allow it to simmer for ten minutes.

Season the sambal with some salt, lime juice and sugar. Add the squid to the sambal and cook for ten minutes or less. Overcooked squid, much like the prawns, will result in rubbery texture- which may not be your favourite way of serving this shellfish. You can judge if the squid is done by the way it curls up when cooked (this is where scoring the meat before cooking comes in handy- it's not just to look pretty!). Remove from heat when you’re happy with the consistency of the sambal.

Sambal sotong nasi lemak

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