Sambal Sotong (Spicy Squid)

Sambal Sotong

Sambal Sotong – fresh squid (calamari) cooked in a classic Malay sauce; a spicy robust sauce made with chilies, shallots, garlic, stewed tomatoes, tamarind paste and belacan, a dried shrimp paste.

Sambal Sotong is also a popular accompaniment to Singaporean local dish – Nasi Lemak.

Popular tourist spots eg. Newton Hawker centers and Chomp-chomp Serangoon Garden also serves sambal sotong grilled over the banana leaves which are a frequent visits for bbq seafood lovers.

Recipe for Sambal Sotong

Ingredients for Sambal Sotong:

  • One lb small or med-sized fresh squid, clean the squid by laying it flat on the chopping board and gently pulling out the head in one direction.
  • Empty the cavity of the squid. Wash it clean. Discard the head except for a small portion of the tentacles.
  • Slice the squid to thin rings.
  • 4 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • One large onion, sliced
  • Two ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • One tbsp tamarind paste
  • One cup water
  • 1-2 tsp palm sugar or dark brown sugar
  • Ыalt

Rempah to ground:

  • 8-10 shallots
  • 2 tsp belacan
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 5 tbsp chili paste
  • 4 candlenuts (buah keras/kemiri nuts)


  1. In a small bowl, using your fingers, mix together tamarind paste and water, then strain and discard seeds
  2. Using a blender, grind shallots, garlic, belacan, candlenuts, chili paste into a paste
  3. In a heated wok, add oil, stir-fry ground paste until quite toasted and oil starts to ooze, about 5 mins
  4. Add onions, tomatoes, tamarind, sugar and salt to taste
  5. Cover, reduce heat to med, simmer till tomatoes are well stewed (mash with spatula) and sauce thickens
  6. Add squid, stir fry till just opaque – do not overcook as they will become chewy!
  7. Dish into a serving dish, allow to sit 10 mins or so, for squid to absorb flavors
  8. Served Sambal Sotong over a banana leaf with steamed rice or Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice)
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  1. Anonymous

    power la sotong nie…sedaap!