Monday, 13 August 2012

Recipe - Cured Cuttlefish In Chilli And Tomato Sauce

The cuttlefish is a relative of the squid. The cuttlefish is not a fish but a mollusc, an invertebrate, a sea creature without backbone. The cuttlefish has 8 arms and 2 tentacles furnished with denticulated suckers with which they secure their preys.

Cuttlefish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and is an excellent source of protein. The protein has an abundance of amino acids and is digestible for people of all ages.

The cured cuttlefish is cuttlefish that has been dried and later soaked in water. It is often used in cooking with the vegetable kangkong, in such dishes as sambal belacan kangkong (kangkong with shrimp paste chilli), satay beehoon and jiu her eng chye(cured cuttlefish with kangkong in hoisin sauce).

In this recipe, I stir fry the cured cuttlefish all by itself with tomato and chilli paste which is very suitable for any seafood.

tomato and chilli paste
Ingredients for tomato and chilli paste:
1 tomato
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 small chillies, cut into small pieces
3 cloves garlic, coarse chopped
1 inch ginger, coarsely chopped
1 slice of dried shrimp paste.

Blend the onion, garlic, ginger, chillies and shrimp paste into a paste in a blender.
You need to add a bit of water to help in the blending.
Yield about one cup of paste (picture on right).

Other Ingredients:
cured cuttlefish
1 cured cuttlefish, about 300 grams, cut into bite size
2 tbs of Maggi tomato ketchup
1 egg, beaten
1 sprig of spring onion, cut into inch length
1 tbs of oil

Heat the oil in a wok or pan on medium till hot
Toss in the paste and stir till fragrant and liquid is reduced a bit
Add the tomato ketchup and stir.
(Note: add half a cup of water if the paste is too dry)

At this point, taste the mixture. The tomato ketchup adds sweetness while the shrimp paste is salty. So the taste should be slightly sweet and salty. Add salt and sugar if necessary.

Once the taste is alright, toss in the cured cuttlefish.
The cured cuttlefish cooks very fast, in about a minute.
Add the beaten egg at the last minute, for extra flavour and thickens the gravy.

Scoop out, garnish with spring onion and serve.


In this video the fresh cuttlefish is pan fried with chilli paste

In this video, cured cuttlefish is fried with beehoon.

People who love Rojak will very likely be big on Cuttlefish Kangkong as well. It's refreshing to have the blanched cuttlefish mixed together Kangkong (water spinach), added with the spicy yet sweet peanut sauce.

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