Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Squid In Coconut Milk (Spicy)

For as long as I can remember, we have always called this 'Sotong Masak Lemak'. Lemak, meaning 'fats' in the Malay language, refers to the coconut milk that is the key ingredient in a masak lemak recipe. Masak means cook and Sotong, is squid.

Although we (largely) speak English at home, no one would catch what it was exactly that I would be dishing out for dinner if I said I was cooking 'Squid In Coconut Milk' . Cue cricket sound, followed by a chorus of "Eww!". No whoops of yahoo or hooray until I say it in the name they are familiar with. It's similar to calling Kuih Kapit aka Love Letters a 'Clamped Snack'. The former sounds much better, of course. Some food names are best left untranslated in my opinion, but for blogging purposes, I try my best!

Squid In Creamy Coconut Milk - a little spicy!

Getting back to this yummy take on a local favourite - This dish is pretty common in our region because of our obsession with food laced with coconut milk and grated coconut. Pop into any Malay food stall and you'll see a variety of masak lemak dishes. I've made a creamier version, as you can see from the thickness of the gravy. This can be diluted with a bit more water, if that's your preference.

As I've added bird's eye chilli into the mix, this is a wee bit spicy. No heavy seasoning required as the gravy is already sweetish on it's own.

Squid In Coconut Milk (Spicy)

- 250g squid (sliced)
- 2 red chilli (sliced in the middle as shown below)
- 1 lemongrass (smashed)
- A small turmeric leaf or ½ a large leaf (thinly sliced, primary vein removed)
- 200ml coconut milk
- Some water
- Salt to taste

For the turmeric paste (ingredients to blend):
- 1 thumb fresh turmeric (roughly chopped)
- 7 green bird's eye chilli (deseeded)
- 3 medium red onions (roughly chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
- 1 lemongrass (thinly sliced)


1) Make turmeric paste. Blend ingredients listed above with ¼ cup coconut milk and ¼ cup water, until fine.

2) Heat pan on low. Pour in turmeric paste and add in the red chilli and smashed lemongrass. Simmer or cook on a low boil for several minutes to combine the flavour, and until the red chilli is slightly tender. Stir slowly, and continuously.

3) Add a little water into the blender (about 2 tbsp). Rinse out the remaining paste and pour this into the pan along with the remainder of the coconut milk. Add the turmeric leaf. Keep stirring and allow it to come to a low boil.

4) Add the squid. Season with salt. Stir until squid is done.

1) Ingredients required. 2) Blend the ingredients into a paste.
3) The paste turns into a nice orange-yellow thanks to the turmeric. 4) Cook the paste for several minutes.

1) Add coconut milk and turmeric leaf. 2) Add the squid.
3) Season with salt and it's done.

Squid In Coconut Milk (Spicy)

Squid In Creamy Coconut Milk- Great with rice!

Best eaten with rice. Could go yum with bread, but it isn't my favourite way.

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  1. I want to drink that creamy spicy coconut sauce! It looks utterly delicious, Sharon.

  2. Hi Sharon,

    The spicy gravy of this dish looks yummy... Will need plenty of plain rice to enjoy this :D


    1. Thanks, Zoe. It does tempt us to eat more than we should.. ;)

  3. Wow, Sharon that looks so delicious!! I think I'll try this with prawns as we don't get fresh squids here. I love coconut milk-based dishes. I'm also growing lemon grass now.:) For me too this will be best with rice!

  4. Hi Sharon! This coconut sauce will be amazing with rice, looks so delicious!

  5. Sharon, I love calamari, so I'm betting I'd love this, too. Coconut milk is always a fave. :) T.

    1. Oh yes, Tina. I'm with you on the coconut milk, a fave in many of our cooking ^.^

  6. I wonder if my squid jigging post give you an idea for this post hahaha
    looks delectable the squid dish ^^
    next time you should try jig squid and immediately cook it in fresh at the sea :D

  7. oh I just noticed this post is written last month
    sorry for late visit as I always check google plus profile page only
    I wonder if my squid jigging post give you an idea for this post hahaha
    it looks delectable and the colour of the dish make me wanna have some
    I suggest you should jig squid yourself next time and cook it immediately in fresh at the boat :P

    1. ...Hah! But your squid jigging post has made me wonder why I don't cook more squid! I would love to try it one day. ;)

  8. Gosh, I'm a sucker for squids & coconut! I'm all for it, dear! xoxo

    1. xoxo, Shirley - would be happy to invite you over one day! ^.^


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