Most of you oldies should remember, in the old days, seeing at the wet market, basins of small pinkish-white pickled whole sotong (local name for squid (English)) for sale. They are not not seen any more as the pickled sotong are now sold pre-sliced in capped bottles! More hygienic but one can on longer sniff at them to see how good they are before purchasing! That whiff is a dash of nostalgia ...
In the past, my mum used to make them, albeit very rarely, during the squid season when the price of fresh sotong was low. However, with the disappearance of the pickled whole sotong from the market and the introduction of the bottled ones, she started to made the pickle at home. According to her, the bottled ones do not taste as nice and I do agree with her.
Recently, she decided to make a fresh batch at home .... and so I trotted off to the wet market at Sg. Maong, Kuching to buy 3 kg of sotong. I was told to pick the smaller ones.
The fresh sotong ....
Rinse the sotong with running tap water - just once. No gutting is required - and make sure that the ink sacs are still intact. Any sotong with a burst sac would turn the whole batch of pickled sotong black! Drain well.
For 3 kg of sotong, add about three handful of salt to the salt.
Place the salted sotong into glass jars and top off the jar with a thin layer of salt. Seal well.
After about one month, the pickled sotong is ready. Just slice into thin strips and add sliced chilli and some vinegar. Instead of the vinegar, you can also use the juice from a small lime (limau kasturi).
This is a delicious side dish and a great "rice-chaser"! Yummy.