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Kenus Mebase: Balinese Squid with Thick Spiced Gravy

Kenus Mebase: Balinese-Style Squid with Thick Spiced Gravy

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Fish & Seafood
  • Method: Sautéing
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal


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



  • 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