Sotong Masak Hitam: A Taste of Malaysia

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Sotong Masak Hitam, also known as Squid in Black Ink, is a beloved Malaysian dish that showcases the country’s rich culinary heritage. This unique and flavorful dish is a testament to Malaysia’s diverse cultural influences and love for bold flavors.

What is Sotong Masak Hitam?

Sotong Masak Hitam features squid cooked in its own black ink, creating a distinctive and rich sauce. The black ink not only gives the dish its signature color but also imparts a deep, savory flavor that is both exotic and delicious. The squid is typically cooked with a blend of spices and aromatics, such as onions, garlic, ginger, and chili, which enhance the dish’s complexity.


To make Sotong Masak Hitam, you’ll need:

  • Fresh squid (sotong), cleaned and cut into rings
  • Squid ink (extracted from the squid or purchased separately)
  • Onions, thinly sliced
  • Garlic, minced
  • Ginger, julienned
  • Red chili, sliced (optional for heat)
  • Tamarind paste
  • Coconut milk
  • Salt and sugar to taste

Preparation Steps

  1. Clean and Prepare the Squid: Clean the squid thoroughly and cut it into rings. Reserve the squid ink if extracting it yourself.
  2. Sauté Aromatics: In a large pan, heat some oil and sauté the onions, garlic, and ginger until fragrant and translucent.
  3. Add Squid and Spices: Add the squid to the pan and cook for a few minutes until it starts to firm up. Stir in the squid ink, ensuring it coats the squid evenly.
  4. Simmer in Coconut Milk: Add the tamarind paste and coconut milk to the pan. Bring to a gentle simmer, allowing the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken.
  5. Season to Taste: Season with salt and sugar, adjusting to your preference. If you prefer a spicier dish, add sliced red chili.
  6. Serve: Once the squid is tender and the sauce is rich and black, remove from heat. Serve hot with steamed rice.

A Cultural Delight

Sotong Masak Hitam is more than just a dish; it’s a cultural experience. It’s commonly enjoyed during family gatherings and festive occasions, reflecting the communal and celebratory nature of Malaysian cuisine. The use of black ink might be unusual to some, but in Malaysia, it is a cherished ingredient that adds a unique depth to the dish.

This dish also highlights Malaysia’s maritime resources, with fresh seafood being a staple in many traditional recipes. The fusion of spices and the use of coconut milk also point to the Malay, Chinese, and Indian influences that shape Malaysian cooking.

Sotong Masak Hitam is a flavorful and visually striking dish that embodies the spirit of Malaysian cuisine. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, trying this dish offers a delicious insight into the country’s rich culinary traditions. So, the next time you’re in Malaysia, don’t miss the chance to savor the unique taste of Sotong Masak Hitam.

Article by Muhammad Ghani Rahman