Sambal Cuttlefish / Sotong

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We went to the market and wanted to get some fresh fishes, somehow the fresh cuttlefish laying on the seafood ice counter looked so tempting that attracted us so much to get it. I picked up a whole nice and big cuttlefish. So it was for the dinner, Sambal Cuttlefish or so called  Sambal Sotong.

The Sambal Sotong is usually served with Nasi Lemak (Malay Style Coconut fragrant steamed rice) or Nasi Bungkus (Pre-packed Coconut Rice) you can find in any Malay stalls. As previously mentioned, Sambal is a chili based paste used widely in cooking for Malay cuisine. Sambal is prepared from scratch with dried chilies, fresh chilies, garlic, ginger, shallots and other ingredients, grounded into paste. One important cooking tip is to cook the chili paste with oil on low heat until the oil oozes from the paste, or separated from each others.  The chili will turn into deep red in color, add some seasoning to taste.

Once you’ve learned to prepare Sambal, you can substitute with other ingredients. Check out our other posts for Sambal recipes, Sambal Okra, Sambal Belacan Asparagus, Rojak, Sambal Kangkung.


1 fresh whole Cuttlefish (cut into 2″ strips, cut checkers patterns on bigger strips)

Ground Spice:
15 dried chilies
5 fresh red chilies
8 small shallots
1 inch ginger
4 cloves garlic

1 tbsp Tamarind juices (soak 1 tbsp tamarind paste in warm water, discard pulp)
1 tsp belacan
1 tbsp sugar
Few dashes salt to taste

Cooking Method:

  1. Ground all the ingredients in food processor into paste.
  2. Heats 2 tbsp oil on low heat, stir fry the paste until the oil oozes from the paste, separated from oil.
  3. Add in belacan, stir well.
  4. Add in cuttlefish strips, stir fry till cook, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add tamarind juice, sugar and salt, adjust to desired taste. Stir well and combined. Serve.
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Category: Entrée (Seafood)

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2 Responses

  1. [...] version, you can always order other entrees to go with it, such as Curry Chicken, Mutton Curry, Sambal Cuttlefish, Kangkung Belacan, Sambal Egg (mostly spicy dishes) and etc. You can find the recipes in the site [...]

  2. [...] own Sambal, you can always prepare a full list of scrumptious Sambal dishes, such as Sambal Okra, Sambal Sotong, Sambal Asparagus with Shrimp, Vegetable Curry and [...]

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