Gulai Cumi Isi Tahu (Indonesian Tofu Stuffed Squid Curry)

Gulai Cumi Isi Tahu [Find original recipe here.]


  • 500g/1.1 lbs whole squids, cleaned, drizeeled with freshly squeezed calamansi juice (NOTE: if you can’t find calamansi juice, lime juice will do)
  • 1 block of tofu, mashed
  • 1-2 pieces of asam gelugur (NOTE: I used 1 tbsp of tamarind pulp)
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 turmeric leaf, knotted (NOTE: still no prospects of finding any turmeric leaf around these parts, so I left this out)
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 1 400 ml/13.5 fl oz tin coconut milk

For the spice paste:

  • 6 shallots
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 long red chillies
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tbsp white peppercorns
  • 4 candlenuts, toasted
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • +/- 3 cm / little over 1 inch turmeric
  • 3 cm / little over 1 inch galangal
  • salt (to taste)


  1. Clean the squids by removing the heads. Set aside.
  2.  Combine 1 tsp of wet blended spices with the mashed tofu and green onion.
  3.  Take 1 squid and head. Put the head (tentacles first) into the squid’s body. (NOTE: I had baby squid lying around in the freezer, so stuffing these was a labour of love to begin with. You could just add the heads to the sauce (see step 8) like I did.
  4. Stuff the squid with the tofu mixture and seal with a toothpick. Repeat.
  5. Steam squid for 10-15 minutes.
  6. In a wok, stir-fry the rest of the spice paste, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric leaf and lemongrass until fragrant.
  7. Add coconut milk, asam gelugur (or tamarind pulp); stir. (Add squid heads.) Season with salt and/or sugar if you need. Taste.
  8. Place steamed stuffed squid in. Simmer for 15 minutes until the spices absorb. Remove from the heat.

I served these with noodles.


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