Salted Squid with Green Chili Sambal is spicy, salty, and savory with an intense umami flavor. You won’t be able to stop yourself from having a few bowls of rice as they are the perfect match!
Salted Squid with Green Chili Sambal is known as “Cumi Asin Cabe Ijo” in Indonesia. It is made from salted squid, squid that has been preserved in salt, and cooked with fresh green chilis and spices. The salted squid adds saltiness and is packed with umami flavor. Meanwhile, the green chili sambal adds a great flavor, spiciness, and wonderful aroma to this dish.
Serve this dish as a main or side dish. It is delicious and addictive and goes so well with rice since the dish is quite salty and spicy.
The Ingredients You Need
Here are the ingredients you need to make Salted Squid with Green Chili Sambal:
- Salted squid. Salted squid is squid that has been preserved or cured with salt. It is prepared by dry-salting or brining the squid. In Indonesia, salted squid is called “cumi asin“. It is usually made with baby squid. Since baby squid is small, the whole squid can be eaten.
- Garlic. For aromatic flavor and aroma.
- Shallots. Shallots used in Southeast Asian cuisine tend to be small with a red exterior and white interior. Unlike western shallots which tend to be larger, Indonesian shallots are small and sweeter in flavor. The individual cloves resemble garlic cloves with pointed tapered ends.
- Curly green chilis. Curly green chilis are the under-ripe curly red chilis. They are harvested when still green for the color. They taste mildly spicy.
- Green bird’s eye chilis. Green bird’s eye chilis are the under-ripe bird’s eye chili. They are small but quite hot, spicier than curly green chilis.
- Kaffir Lime leaves. They add a fresh citrus aroma to the dish.
- Green tomatoes. Green tomatoes are basically under-ripe red tomatoes. They have a firm, crunchy texture, and a tart, acidic flavor. It adds freshness to the dish.
- Seasonings. Granulated mushroom bouillon, granulated sugar, and ground white pepper. Since the salted squid is already salty, you don’t need to add salt.
How to Adjust the Spicy Level
The green chili sambal in the dish may look somewhat intimidating. Yes, this recipe can be too spicy for some people. However, you can easily adjust the chili to your preferred spicy level.
- Reduce the spiciness. You can omit the green bird’s eye chilis. If you feel like curly green chilis are still too spicy for you, you can substitute them with other less spicy green chilis.
- Make it spicier. Double the amount of green bird’s eye chilis in this recipe to make the dish spicier.
How to Make Salted Squid with Green Chili Sambal
- Soak the salted squid in hot water for 10-15 minutes to soften and rehydrate the squid. Drain the water. Rinse and rub a few times until the rinsing water comes out clean. Pat dry the squid with a paper towel.
- In a food processor, process garlic, shallots, curly green chilis, and green bird’s eye chilis until minced. If you don’t have a food processor, you can mince them with a knife.
- Fry the salted squid until half-cooked. Remove the salted squid from the oil.
- Using the leftover oil from frying the salted squid, add the minced spices, kaffir lime leaves, and green tomatoes. Stir-fry until the chilis are cooked and turn darker.
- Add the half-cooked salted squid, granulated mushroom bouillon, granulated sugar, and ground white pepper. Stir-fry until the squid is fully-cooked.
- Transfer to a serving plate. Discard the kaffir lime leaves.
How to Serve
Salted Squid with Green Chili Sambal can be served as a main or side dish. However, it cannot be served just as it is since salted squid tastes super salty. The dish has to be paired with rice to neutralize the saltiness and spiciness.