Calamari and pounded sambal with cabbage salad


  • Serves 4 people

Pound sambal in a mortar and pestle for fantastic flavour.

  • 600 gm calamari, cleaned, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • To serve: lime wedges
  • Pounded sambal
  • 1 tbsp shrimp paste (belacan)
  • 5 long red chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 2 birdseye chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 5 golden or red shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 5 gm ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • ½ vine-ripened tomato, seeds removed, coarsely chopped
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lime
  • Cabbage salad
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 400 gm red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup each (loosely packed) mint and coriander, coarsely torn
01   For pounded sambal, preheat oven to 180C. Wrap shrimp paste in foil and roast until pungent (4-5 minutes). Set aside to cool, then pound to a coarse paste in a mortar and pestle with remaining ingredients except lime juice. Add lime juice, stir and season to taste.
02   For cabbage salad, combine lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and 1 tbsp water in a small bowl and mix well. Place cabbage and herbs in separate bowls, add dressing to each and toss to combine.
03   Heat a large frying pan or char-grill pan over high heat. Combine calamari and oil in a bowl, season to taste, then cook, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through (2-3 minutes). Remove from heat, add sambal to taste, mix to combine, then serve with cabbage and herbs, lime wedges and remaining sambal to the side.
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