when baking, follow directions.. when cooking, go by your own taste.. ~ Laiko Bahrs
i always come across baby cuttlefish, or sotong katak whenever i shop for seafood in Kuala Selangor.. with fatter and rounder bodies compared to the common squid, they do resemble toads in a way.. cleaning them is easy, you just need to slice the body into half at the side, remove the thick back bone, remove the inner organs from the head, the beak, eyes, ink sac, and that’s it.. easy peasy~
tastewise, it’s no different than the common squid, as well as the texture.. but then again, it’s still squid, albeit a different species that’s all..
one of my favorite recipes to cook cuttlefish is a simple stir fry with sambal belacan (hot chilli dipping sauce).. i always prepare my own sambal belacan and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge.. i’ve tried store bought sambal belacan and they’re just not to my liking..
all you need to make really good sambal belacan are a mortar and pestle (or food processor if you don’t have it), the ingredients, and your own taste judgment.. the main ingredients are usually chillies (dried red chillies and bird eye chillies), belacan or dried fermented shrimp paste, lime juice, salt and pepper.. remove the seeds and soak the dried red chillies in hot water to soften, drain and cut into smaller pieces.. pop the lot into a mortar, along with crumbled pieces of toasted belacan.. slice bird eye chillies and pop those in too.. the amount of these small but really hot babies determine the heat level of your sambal belacan.. i like mine to be as hot as possible so i use quite a lot of it.. add salt and sugar into the mortar, and start pounding everything to a fine pulp.. taste the mixture when you’re done, add more salt or sugar if needed, and mix in lime juice.. taste again, add more of either three seasonings if needed.. and once you’re satisfied with the taste, texture and consistency, you have your very own home made sambal belacan~