Fried sambal dishes such as this -
cuttlefish or squid in sambal sauce - should be eaten with rice, accompanied by
blander or milder dishes and crisp salads. Nyonya fried sambals are not enriched
with coconut milk but rather have a tamarind-sour base. This is essentially the
difference between the Javanese-Malay origin of this dish and the Nyonya style.
Small cuttlefish, cleaned and body and
tentacles cut into two or four
Lemongrass, finely sliced
Spice Paste Ingredients
Dried chilies, seeded, soaked in warm
water till soft & squeezed dry
Shrimp paste, approx. 2 x 2cm
Candlenuts or raw almond or macadamia
Prepare spice paste by pounding the chilies in a mortar and
pestle, then add the rest of the spices in the order they appear, pounding each one as you
Heat oil in a wok, then add in the spice paste and the
lemongrass and stir-fry until the mixture is fragrant.
Add in the cuttlefish or squid and continue stir-fry until
coated and sealed.
Lower heat, pour in the tamarind water, sugar and salt,
stir-fry until the gravy turns thick and oily and the cuttlefish is cooked through.
Asian Melting Pot
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Cooking Wisdom: This recipe works well for
shelled and deveined shrimps. For variation, add 2 small peeled and chopped
tomatoes to the wok after the spice paste becomes fragrant. Cook them to a thick
puree before adding the tamarind water. You may not need quite so much tamarind