Never like this…

My girl loves sotong (squid)…

As a matter of fact, I seem to notice that she likes it more than prawns, never mind whether it is the seawater variety (pek hay) or our freshwater prawns (chia chui hay)/tua thow hay (big headed prawns) or udang galah in Malay. We had these very regularly way back then, cooked with egg and ginger in soy sauce…

…or masak kunyit (cooked with turmeric)

Unlike now, it was never like this in my growing up years. I do not recall ever eating sotong at home or outside (not that we dined out a lot way back then) or on days when my dad would bring the tiffin carrier and buy food home for our meals from here. Perhaps my dad did not like its chewy and rubbery texture or perhaps, we just did not fancy it so much in our growing up years. That sure saved my mum the trouble of going through the tedious task of cleaning and preparing them.

Yes, we did get to eat the red cuttlefish whenever we had sotong kangkong (jiew hu eng chai)…

…and we so loved the ones at this Malay guy’s stall outside the Lido Cinema – he would panggang (toast) the cuttlefish over a charcoal fire and then he would hammer it till it was totally mashed and we would enjoy it dipped in his own-made chili dip. That was so good but unfortunately, there’s nobody selling that anymore – there used to be those made using machine and of course, they came nowhere near.

Fast forward to 1973, when I was in Singapore – I was renting a room at a flat in the Katong area and I would walk to a coffee shop at the junction of Telok Kurau Road and East Coast Road where there was an Indian/mamak stall. I used to buy SGD$1.00 sotong cooked in curry or whatever and they would give me so much to eat with rice. It must have been so cheap at the time but in Penang in 2011, I had to fork out RM11.00 for ONE, quite a big one, with the nasi biryani that I had. It sure is not all that cheap anymore these days, around RM20.00 a kilo at my favourite fish & seafood stall near my house.

We used to order it when eating out, what they call the salad sotong

…or the sotong with dried chili…

…but I do not know any place here where they would cook it in that same way as my missus, with turmeric (kunyit) and asam (tamarind) along with a whole lot of other ingredients…

…and yes, we love it this way – it’s really good!

It so happened that my missus was frying some banana fritters that morning and she used a bit of the batter to fry some of the sotong

…and yes, it turned out to be really very nice too.

We do not have anymore in the freezer now – I bought these that day for our steamboat dinner but my missus said she forgot to take them out and anyway, we had a whole lot of things already then. Needless to say, I shall be looking out for some fairly big ones at my favourite fish & seafood stall in my neighbourhood to buy and keep in our freezer so we can have these to enjoy again in days to come.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

19 thoughts on “Never like this…”

  1. Both squid and prawns are my favourite. Having said that and to be frank, if given a choice to choose between the two, I would definitely go for the prawns anytime. Sometimes I find squid are quite chewy. Both are high in cholesterol and not to be eaten too often.

    1. I think squids are not as sweet and haven’t got much taste – I’d go for prawns, never mind freshwater or those from the sea. I saw on one healthy eating show on TV that all the cholesterol in prawns is in the head and the roe (eggs) so if you do not eat those, it is perfectly o.k.

    1. What? As long as it is fried, it is nice? What are you talking about? I love sotong in tom yam soup too! It all boils down to what recipe…and who the one cooking is!

    1. Not too bad, cleaning & deveining prawns. I’ve never tried but when I saw my missus doing the sotong, it looked like a lot of work and she took such a long time. I only buy because our girl loves eating it so much.

    1. I love crabs too but used to have it once in a blue moon only. Not sure about buying to cook our own, sometimes not meaty, often very small. The restaurants get all the big ones so we would go there to eat…and get slaughtered. So sad.

  2. I hardly in fact never eat squid at home. The last few times that I did outside, it was deep fried as a starter which was really nice. But I’d like to have it cooked in sambal too. Some nasi lemak places offer this as one of the add on.

    1. Yes, we do have sambal sotong with nasi lemak at one or two places here, VERY SMALL sotong but thank goodness, they do not use the canned ones – they do that with the sotong kerang, so pissed off by that!

      We have batter-coated deep fried sotong at a few places here – they call it salad sotong…just because it is served with mayo. My girl loves those!

  3. Sotong is also my favourite dish!
    Deep fried in butter, sizap (Cantonese style dark soya sauce), sambal, I love them all.
    We also have baby sotong too, deep fry until super crunchy and served with sweet and spicy sticky sauce.
    That’s very delicious too.

    Our sotong (cuttlefish) kangkong is usually served in rojak sauce with lots of crush peanuts on top.

    1. Sotong kangkong sauce is different from rojak sauce, a little sweet and a little sour and not so strong on the prawn paste. There was one place here using rojak sauce – probably they got a lot of complaints so eventually they switched to something more like what it should be like…and we have loved it since!

      Sotong used to be so cheap here! I went to meetings, courses and seminars at hotels, 6 meals a day…and the only time I had sotong was when I went to one at Pangkor – seafood every meal every day! I asked my West Malaysian friends why I never saw sotong in the buffet spread and they told me it was so expensive over there! I certainly was surprised to hear that!

  4. In my childhood, my father loved seafood a lot that it felt like our food were always special when he’s home (he worked overseas).

    Everything looks delicious in this post. I am drooling.

  5. I love squid! I dont mind cleaning them too, in fact I find it easier to clean than fish that is not gutted. I am sure those ones you tried that have rubbery texture were wrongly cooked, sotong when cooked properly can be really tender but overcooking them just by a few seconds will make it bad.

    1. Yes, usually those sold outside are overcooked – they do not bother, just get it done and serve. Thankfully, our own at home are always great – that is why I keep buying especially since my girl enjoys them so much.

      I don’t mind cleaning fish, the big ones. I can get it done easily. Here, the fishmonger will do it for us, no need to go through the chore. They do not do prawns and squids, unfortunately.

    1. It’s such a chore, cleaning them. No choice, I would buy and my missus would spend hours in the kitchen cleaning them because my girl enjoys them a lot, more than prawns!

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