Cumi Saus Lada Hitam: Squid in Black Pepper Sauce

Cumi Saus Lada Hitam is a popular modern Indonesian recipe, comprising squid cooked in black pepper sauce, along with chillies, oyster sauce, and other herbs and spices.

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

Cumi saus lada hitam is an easy, delicious recipe of squid cooked in black pepper sauce. The sauce, which is not traditionally Indonesian, is now quite popular in Indonesia. In fact, many Indonesians see it as an alternative to typical Indonesian recipes. You’ll find the sauce on the menu in many restaurants or simple eateries. The protein variations used are not limited to just seafood, but also include beef and poultry.

Though a popular restaurant item, black pepper sauce is far from complicated to cook. To shorten the cooking process, ready-to-use black pepper sauces can easily be bought from the supermarkets too. But I rarely prepare my meals using instant sauces, so here we go, making the dish from the scratch!

I used frozen squid rings that were thawed slowly for this recipe; I didn’t have a chance to go to the market to buy fresh ingredients. If available, fresh squid will taste better, but frozen ones are quite OK too.

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To prevent the squid releasing too much liquid when cooked, and making the sauce too watery for my taste, I blanched the squid shortly prior to mixing it with the sauce. The blanching ensures that the sauce temperature isn’t lowered when the squid is added, too. This makes cooking it less confusing, as squid needs a very short cooking time. The end result was a delicious and tender black pepper squid.

This dish is spicy from tons of black peppercorn used. The additional big red/green chillies and ginger add to the heat too and give a warming effect to the body. To make it less spicy and reduce the heat, the chilies can be substituted with fresh red/green paprika. The crunchy and slightly sweet veggies will help reduce the intensity and make it fresher.

As with anything else in Indonesia, cumi lada hitam is usually served with rice, but also goes well with pasta or bread. 

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Cumi Saus Lada Hitam: Squid in Black Pepper Sauce

Cumi Saus Lada Hitam: Squid in Black Pepper Sauce

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Category: Fish & Seafood
  • Method: Sautéing
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal

Description

This is a popular modern Indonesian dish, comprising squid cooked in black pepper sauce, along with chillies, oyster sauce, and other herbs and spices.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 500 gr squid rings
  • 1 small onion, peeled, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, finely minced
  • 2 cm ginger, peeled, sliced into small strips
  • 2 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 big red chilli, sliced diagonally
  • 1 big red chilli, sliced diagonally
  • 2 tbsp sweet soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 200 ml water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water

Instructions

  1. Dissolve the 1 tsp cornstarch in 2 tbsp water.
  2. Wash the squid thoroughly, and then blanch in boiling water for 1 minute, rinse, set aside.
  3. Heat the cooking oil in a wok over medium high heat, and then sauté the garlic until fragrant, around 1 minute.
  4. Add the onion slices and ginger, continue frying for about 3 minutes. 

    Add the onion slices and ginger

  5. Add big red and green chilies.
  6. Add water, stir all the ingredients.

    Add water, stir all the ingredients

  7. Add white and black pepper, salt, sweet soy sauce and oyster sauce, stir and cook until it boils.

    stir and cook until it boils.

  8. Add the squid, stir and cook for around 3 minutes.

    Add the squid

  9. Add the dissolved cornstarch, mix well until the sauce thickened (around 1-2 minutes).
  10. Turn off the heat.
  11. Transfer the dish to a serving plate and serve immediately.

    Cumi Saus Lada Hitam is ready


Notes

  • Feel free to reduce the amount of black pepper according to your preference.

Keywords: Quick and easy, common ingredients

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