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Gulai Cumi Bunting

Gulai Cumi Bunting: Padang-style ‘Pregnant’ Squid

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Fish & Seafood
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal


Gulai cumi bunting is a Padang-style gulai dish, i.e., a spicy coconut curry. Here, each squid is stuffed with tofu and egg, and then simmered in the gulai gravy until tender.


  • 500 gr big squid
  • 300 gr tofu
  • 1 egg
  • 8 shallots, peeled, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
  • 10 red curly chillies (or 4 big red chillies), chopped
  • 5 bird’s eyes chillies (optional)
  • 3 candlenuts, chopped
  • 2 cm ginger, peeled, chopped
  • 2 cm galangal, chopped
  • 3 cm turmeric, peeled, chopped
  • 0.5 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 lemongrass, use only the white part, bruised, knotted
  • 1 salam leaf
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 200 ml instant coconut milk
  • 250 ml water
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • Toothpicks


  1. Clean the squid thoroughly. Remove the bone, ink sack and outer skin. Set aside.
  2. Using a food processor or mortar and pestle, make into a fine paste: 2 cloves garlic and 3 shallots.
  3. Using a fork, mash the tofu into a fine crumble.

    mash the tofu

  4. To the mashed tofu, add the garlic and shallot paste, 0.5 tsp white pepper powder, salt and egg. Mix all the ingredients well.
  5. Stuff the squids with the tofu mix and then secure the tip with a toothpick. Set aside.

    Stuff the squids with the tofu mixStuff the squids with the tofu mixset aside the stuffed squid

  6. Blend into a fine paste: Chillies, the rest of the shallots and garlic, ginger, galangal, turmeric and candlenuts.
  7. Heat the cooking oil in a wok over medium high heat, then sauté the spice paste, lemongrass, salam leaf and kaffir lime leaves until fragrant, around 4 minutes. 

    sauté the spices

  8. Add the water, mix well, then add the coconut milk. Stir until the coconut milk is well dissolved.

    add the coconut milk

  9. Add salt to taste.
  10. Add the stuffed squid, cook over medium high heat until the mixture boils, then reduce the flame to medium low.

    Add the stuffed squid

  11. Cook the squid for about 45 minutes or until the sauce is reduced and the oil starts to separate.
  12. Transfer the squid to a serving plate and serve with plenty of rice.

    Transfer the squid to a serving plate


  • The stuffed squid can also be steamed prior to cooking it with spices. 
  • Use soft or firm tofu for the stuffing. Silken tofu is not suitable.

Keywords: Spicy, stuffing, turmeric, mashing, candlenut