A seafood delicacy from Bali, kenus mebase is a dish of squid cooked in a thick, spiced gravy consisting of numerous herbs, spices and chillies, such as galangal, Indonesian basil, lemongrass, tamarind and more.
- 750 gr medium sized squid
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 4 bid red chillies
- 5 bird’s eye chillies
- 6 shallots, peeled, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled chopped
- 3 candlenuts, chopped
- 2 cm ginger, peeled, chopped
- 2 cm turmeric, peeled, chopped
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 0.5 tsp roasted shrimp paste
- 1 tbsp tamarind extract
- 1 lemongrass, bruised, cut into pieces
- 2 cm galangal, bruised
- 2 salam leaves
- 1 handful kemangi (Indonesian basil) leaves, remove the stems.
- Salt to taste
- 4 tbsp cooking oil
- 250 ml water
- Clean and remove the ink sac of the squid. Wash thoroughly and rub it with lemon juice. Set aside.
- Blend into a fine paste: big red chillies, bird’s eye chillies, shallots, garlic, candlenut, ginger, turmeric, coriander seeds and roasted shrimp paste.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok over medium heat, and then sauté the blended spices until fragrant (around 4 minutes).
- Add the bruised galangal, salam leaves and lemongrass. Fry for another 2 minutes.
Add the squid.
Add water, stir all the ingredients.
- Add tamarind extract and salt, and let the soupy mixture boil.
- After it boils, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer it for another 20-25 minutes until the squid is tender and the gravy thickens, but is not dry.
When the squid is done, put in the kemangi leaves and stir for 1 minute.
- Transfer the dish to a serving plate.
- Squid becomes rubbery when it’s not cooked for the right amount of time. To get a ‘right’ squid, we can either cook it very briefly or cook it for a long time until the squid is tender.
- For this recipe, I cooked the squid for around 25 minutes (fairly long), which is enough to fully cook the middle size squid until tender.
Keywords: Herbs, Galangal, Spicy, Kemangi