Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sambal Sotong (Squid) and Sambal Udang (Prawn) Peranakan recipe

 Sambal Prawn and Sambal Sotong

I took the recipe from Marshal Cavendish - Classic Peranakan Cooking sold in Popular book store.

This has been another Peranakan dish that I have wanted to try! I found this recipe in the book and the instruction was clear and decided to test the recipes~

I took notice of this sambal dish when I ate it while studying in Malacca. I feel in love with it and ate it in Malacca whenever I could. There is a few variation and I love to order Sambal Pork rice from a restaurant call Pin Kee near my campus. Now that I am back in JB, I could not find the same taste in JB and I often crave for it especially the first few months that I came back permanently. I have tried cooking this dish with my mum last time and I have even blog about it. Only just recently I realize that this dish is actually a peranakan food and that I notice a lot of dish in Malacca are influence by Peranakan style of cooking. I guess that explain why it is not common in JB. 

I use food processor to process the rempah
The key to making a good Sambal Sotong/Prawn is from the rempah. I notice that there is different kind of combo of dried chillies and shallots offered across the internet. Some website increases the dried chillies and reduce the number of shallots. I like the taste from this recipe and it is only mildly spicy because I have remove the chilli seeds. However it is a bit salty since I added half a teaspoon of salt when there is already tamarind (assam jawa) juice added (I forget to divide by half the quantity of salt since i have divided by half the quantity of rempah and the seafood). So next time I will watch out how much salt i put in. Other than that this Sambal Prawn and Sambal Sotong has receive great praises from my dad! He love it so much and he feels that his appetite improve.

Another important note is that the rempah burn easily when you cook it. I tend to use small fire and then big fire alternately while continuously stir it. According to books they say that the sambal is ready when the oil separates from the sambal. However a baba friend of mine use an ingenious method. He say that he knows when the sambal is ready when he started sneezing! It is a strange advice but it strangely work for me too!

This recipe is originally meant for Sambal Prawn. But I decided to mix in the Sotong to lend the dish more variety. In the rempah section, I follow exactly the quantity stated. However I ended up only using half of the rempah as I only use about 300gram of prawn and squid combine. I also only use about half of the tamarind juice which is about 100ml with 1 tbsp spoon of tamarind pulp.

Another note also is that I only dump the tamarind juice in at the last minute as I wanted to prevent chemical reaction with my kuali.

Sambal Udang (Prawn) Recipe (The quantity originally taken from the book. You can divide the ingredient if you use less prawn like me)

Fresh prawn 500g
cooking oil 4-6 Tbsp
Tamarind pulp 2 tbsp mixed with 250ml (8floz - 1 cup water and strain)
sugar 1/2 tbsp to taste
salt 1/2 tsp to taste

dried chillies        8 presoak
red chillies        3
candlenuts        3
dried prawns shrimp paste belacan    2.5 x 1cm (1 x 1/2-in) piece
shallots 15 small peeled

(steps have been modified)
-Peel and devein prawns. Rinse and set aside. (I also use squid. So i clean and chop them into slices. Both prawn and squid total up to about 300gram).
-Pound rempah ingredients until fine using a mortar and pestle (or you can use food processor like I did)
-Heat oil in a wok until smoking hot. Add pounded rempah ingredients until fragrant but not burnt and oil seperates from paste.
-Add prawns and squid. I do not want to overcook the prawn and squid. So i quickly add the sugar, salt and tamarind juice. Once the prawn changes to pink colour. I switch off the fire and serve immidiately.

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