chapter V

when baking, follow directions.. when cooking, go by your own taste.. ~ Laiko Bahrs

made in MyKitchen | stir fried cuttlefish in sambal belacan

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~ :mrgreen:


Ingredients :

  • cuttlefish, cleaned and cut into small pieces

  • sambal belacan
  • onion, sliced
  • curry leaves

Method :

  • to make sambal belacan, use a mortar and pestle to pound softened dried red chillies, bird eye chillies, belacan (dried fermented shrimp paste), and brown sugar to a pulp. add in lime juice to the mixture. taste, add more lime juice, brown sugar or sea salt if needed. set aside
  • in a wok, heat up some oil and saute sliced onions and curry leaves until fragrant
  • add in sambal belacan, stir fry for a bit

  • add in cuttlefish and stir fry until cooked through

  • turn the heat off when done
  • serve, and enjoy

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