Category Archives: Cephalopod

Octopus, Squid

Pork Stuff Squid Tubes

This is easily one of our favourite squid dishes. I have cooked them a couple of times during our sailing through SE Asia. The first time was in Indonesia when we bought some fresh squid from a local fisherman. The second time was recently in Thailand at a BBQ we put on at PSS Shipyard in Satun.

IMG_2655
Pork stuffed squid served with rice cakes and a simple salad.

Ingredients

25g Rice vermicelli noodles
3 spring onions
3 tablespoon of peanut oil
2 garlic, finely chopped
3cm ginger, peeled and grated
½ cup cabbage, finely shredded
325g pork mince
¼ teaspoon ground star anise
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
Several medium squid or 16 baby squid, cleaned and tentacles reserved

Dipping sauce

1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 small chilli, finely chopped
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
4 tablespoons fish sauce
Freshly squeezed juice from ½ a lime

Method

To make dipping sauce, mix all ingredients well until sugar has dissolved. Taste and add more lime if needed. Transfer to a dipping bowl.

For the stuffing, pour boiling water over the noodles and allow to stand for 5 minutes until soft. Drain well, chop them into smaller pieces and place in a large bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a fry pan and gently cook the garlic, ginger and spring onion until soft. Remove from heat and add to the bowl. Chop the squid tentacles and add to the bowl along with the pork, cabbage, star anise and fish sauce. Mix well.

Cooking Spicy Stuffed Squid
Cooking the stuffed squid

Stuff the squid tubes with the stuffing. Make sure to leave a little room at the top and close the top of the tube with a toothpick.

Heat the remaining oil in a fry pan and cook the tube for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through.

Pork Stuffed Squid
Slice the squid into rings with a sharp knife.

Slice the squid and serve with the dipping sauce.

Pork Stuffed Squid
Pork Stuffed Squid

At the PSS Shipyard, while painting and varnishing our boat for six weeks, we cooked a goat BBQ. For entree I served my stuffed squid. Dwayne built a four layer BBQ to cook all the food for the 23 people that were to join in on the feast. I used two different types of squid, which I bought from the local fish market down the road. In my opinion the squid are not as yummy when grilled on the BBQ, but everyone still enjoyed them. If you were to cook them on a BBQ use a hot plate instead of a grill.

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Dwayne’s four layer cooking contraption – squid cooked over the coals and there are potatoes cooking under the coals.
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Dwayne’s Chilli Seafood

While cruising Indonesia we were lucky enough to visit a tiny fishing village on the island of Panebangan. The people were exceptionally friendly and welcomed us with huge smiles and a large bunch of bananas! It was at this village, the following morning, that we were invited onto a fishing boat for breakfast. Dwayne watched how the fisherman made chilli fish and it has since become Dwayne’s signature dish! This is great for when I don’t feel like cooking…. i.e. “I’d really love your chilli fish for dinner tonight Dwayne!”

Dwayne has made this a couple of times for dinner. Once he used fish and squid and the other time he used crayfish.

It’s simple and tasty. This is how he does it…

  • fresh chillies, chopped
  • fresh garlic, chopped
  • asian shallots, chopped
  • salt

Dwayne preparing his chilli fish

Blend all the above ingredients with the mortar and pestle.

Blending up the chilli and other ingredients

Add oil to a pan and heat.
Add the spice mix, fry until fragrant.
Add the seafood (fish or what ever you want) and fry it for a while.
Then add some water and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasional.
Season with salt as needed.

Serve with steamed rice.

Fish and squid with chilli sauce

Crayfish and roe in Dwayne's chilli sauce

For the full story of Panebangan check out Karamata and Surrounding Islands

Dwayne with his chilli crayfish

Guess what we are having for dinner tonight!

Stuffed Squid in a Rich Tomato Sauce

As we sailed amongst the islands off the west coast of Borneo, we were able to purchase fish and squid from the fisherman that visit us, when we drop anchor for the night. The squid, used for this recipe, we bought off a fisherman at Pulau Bawal and the fish I use to stuff the squid was a mackerel we traded a mobile phone and a pair of sunnies for, when anchored off Pulau Genting.

Stuffed Squid in a Rich Tomato Sauce
Stuffed Squid in Rich Tomato Sauce

It had been two weeks since we had been able to get fresh fruit and veg and  I used my last fresh tomato for this recipe. At the time we had been eating rice with almost every meal. Every time I cook rice I will cook a cup of rice and I then use the left over to make rice cakes or I heat it up with curry sauce etc. This time I used it to stuff my squid.

OK so this is what I did…

I made a stuffing for the squid with:

  • about 1/2 cup of left over cooked rice
  • a small fillet of mackerel (finely chopped) about 100g
  • 1 large red chilli, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped,
  • 5 small asian shallots, finely chopped
  • about 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix it altogether and stuff it into the squid tubes. Close each tube with a toothpick. Cook the squid tubes for 5 mins to brown them slightly and then removed them from the pan

Stuffed Squid in a Rich Tomato Sauce
The prepared stuffed squid tubes

For the sauce…

I heated oil in the fry pan and fried:

  • 1/2 head of garlic (about 6 cloves), chopped
  • 3 small hot chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 large red chilli, chopped
  • 8 small asian shallots, chopped
  • about 80g anchovy fillets
  • 2 Tablespoons capers, chopped
Shallots, garlic, chilli and lots of anchovy!
Shallots, garlic, chilli and lots of anchovy!

I fried this until it was cooked and the garlic and shallots had softened. I then added:

  • 1 can of tomatoes, diced
  • 3 Tbs tomato paste
  • dried italian herbs and black pepper to taste.

I brought it to the boil and then simmered the sauce for about 15 minutes, after which I added the stuffed squid tubes. I then simmered it until the flavours had developed into a rich, spicy, flavoursome sauce and the squid were cooked through (adding water as necessary). I served the squid with rice.

Stuffed Squid in a Rich Tomato Sauce
Stuffed Squid in a Rich Tomato Sauce

The left overs

I used the left over sauce the next day with some mackerel fillets. I cooked the mackerel then added the sauce to the pan with the fish and simmered until heated through. I served it with pasta. Yum!

Nasi Campur

Nasi Campur refers to a dish with a scoop of nasi putih (white rice) accompanied by small portions of a number of other dishes, which includes meats, vegetables, peanuts, eggs etc. Nasi campur is a ubiquitous dish around Indonesia and as diverse as the archipelago itself. There is no exact rule, recipe or definition of what makes a nasi campur, since Indonesians and Southeast Asians commonly consume steamed rice surrounded with side dishes consisting of vegetables and meat. [Wikipedia]

Nasi Campur - rice, tempe, octopus skewer, tomato, cucumber and sambal
Nasi Campur – rice, tempe, octopus skewer, tomato, cucumber and sambal
Nasi Campur - rice, crispy pork, tempe, kangkung (water spinach) and chilli sambal
Nasi Campur – rice, crispy pork, tempe, kangkung (water spinach) and chilli sambal

When in Indonesia we eat like the Indonesians! This has as much to do with the food/ingredients that are available to us as with our love of Indonesian food. We eat rice most days and I usually make a sambal to go with it. Chilli, garlic, shallots keep well on the boat so they feature in most of our meals during our cruising.

This is what I did for the octopus skewer, tempe, kangkung and sambal…..

Skewered Octopus with Lime and Basil

Marinated octopus in olive oil, lime juice, garlic and chopped basil leaves. Refrigerated for about an hour then skewered the octopus on small skewers. Dwayne grilled them on the BBQ and I served them with Nasi Campur.

Octopus Skewers
Octopus Skewer with Lime and Basil

Tempe Goreng

Tempe – fermented soybeans. I sliced some prepared tempe into bite size pieces and fried them in hot oil until brown and crispy. I removed them from the oil and mix in a little kecap manis.

Tempe from the supermarket
Tempe from the supermarket
Tempe with kecap manis (sweet soy)
Tempe with kecap manis (sweet soy)

Kangkung

I probably do the kangkung differently every time I cook it, but generally speaking I fry up quite a bit of garlic (usually garlic slices ), shallot, a bit of chilli in a little oil, and season with salt and pepper. I then add the washed, roughly chopped kangkung and sauté for a minute.

kangkung.
I added a chopped fresh tomato to this kangkung.

Sambal

I usually make a raw sambal by smashing up chillies with garlic and a small shallot, in my mortar with pestle. However, my favourite is sambal matah, and if I have lemongrass on board I’ll make it. Sambal matah is a lemongrass and shallot sambal. It will often have shrimp paste in it but I usually make mine without the paste… I just love the taste of fresh lemongrass.

In the mortar I smash up lemongrass, shallot, a little chilli, some thin slices of kaffir lime leaves, salt and oil. It is delicious.

Sambal Indonesia, chilli, shallot, lemongrass
Sambal Matah

Bon appétit

Sambal ingredients

Pickled Octopus Salad with Lime Aioli

Restocking the boat with fresh fruit and veg is always a challenge. What fruit and veg will stay the freshest the longest?… that sort of thing. While at Mooloolaba we went to the supermarket and, surrounded by fresh fruit and vegetables, I went a little crazy. Forgetting I only have a small fridge on the boat I bought lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, fennel bulbs, chillies, zuchinni, capsicum, carrots, swede, and more. Of course when I got it all back to the boat there was no way I was going to fit it all in my fridge. Some of it was able to go into the bilge with the potatoes and onions, (i.e. swede and carrots), but others such as the lettuce and cucumbers needed to go into the fridge.

Anyway that dilemma led to me deciding to have a salad for lunch. My next dilemma was how to serve a salad to Dwayne for lunch without him thinking I am trying to starve him to death! After a search through the fridge I discovered we still had some pickled octopus left. (The occy we caught in Fame Cove).

Pickled Octopus
Pickled Octopus

So this is what I did…

I made a simple salad of lettuce leaves, sliced cucumber, chopped tomato, sliced red onion, thinly sliced fennel bulb and sliced green chilli. I arranged the salad on a platter and topped it with sliced pickled octopus. I wasn’t sure how to dress this salad. What would go with the pickle flavour of the octopus? I decided to do a simple aioli of whole egg mayo and lime juice. I used bottled lime which I always have on hand on the boat. I mixed quite a lot of lime with the mayo to make a thin dressing, which I drizzled over the salad.

Pickled Octopus Salad with Lime Aioli
Pickled Octopus Salad with Lime Aioli

It worked really well. We thought the flavours complemented each other. Dwayne loved it and because it had something other than just veggies i.e. the occy, he didn’t accuse me of feeding him diet food!

Pickled Octopus

We put the crab pot out to try and catch crabs while moored in Fame Cove, Port Stephens NSW. No luck with crabs but we didn’t go away empty handed, we did get an octopus.

Pickled Octopus
Octopus caught in the crab trap.

One of our favourite happy hour nibbles is pickled octopus, so we set to work making it.

Dwayne’s first job is to get it out of the net; I just can’t handle the thought of it wrapping it’s tentacles around my arms (which it does!).

The Octopus

octopus
Octopus

Dwayne prepares it by removing it’s head and the skin , then cutting it into individual tentacles.

Removing the octopus skin.
Removing the octopus skin.

I place the tentacles into a pot and put it on the lowest possible heat (adding no water). I simmer the octopus for about 30 minutes. The pot fills with liquid as the octopus simmers.

Pickled octopus

When cooked I slice the octopus into bite-size pieces and place them in a container with one part white vinegar, one part sweet spiced vinegar, half a packet of pickling spice mix, a pinch of chilli flakes and a slice onion. Then refrigerate it!

Pickle octopus ready to refrigerate.
Pickle octopus ready to refrigerate.

When I serve the octopus I place it in a serving dish and drizzle it with a little olive oil, yum.

Pickled Octopus
Pickled Octopus ready to serve.

Check out our Pickled Octopus Salad with Lime Aioli