On the day my husband started his leave, our cousin, a medical student in Glasgow and her husband, also a medical student, were coming to visit and so being me, of course I just had to cook for them. And since it was the holidays, I also invited friends over on the same day for a simple potluck gathering. Yes, just potluck for I wasn’t feeling too enthusiastic about cooking for a dozen or more people when Raya Haji was just the next weekend.
And so the food that night was a variety of dishes. I kept it simple: I made nasi hujan panas, roasted mayo chicken, and cherry crumble for dessert. Also intended to make sotong kangkung but at the last minute we discovered that there were no sotong and no kangkung (and no tahu goreng as well) at the nearest Chinese supermarket and therefore I was forced to substitute these with fishcake and green beans and then added the other normal stuff like pineapple cubes and cucumber slices which are supposed to be in the sotong kangkung anyway – and Thank God and I am happy to report that it went down well! It was of course, no longer ‘sotong kangkung’ but a sort of rojak that my friends kindly named rojak fishcake .
That's right. Rojak Fishcake is the NEW Sotong Kangkung.
At least, over at my house it is.
The secret of any sotong kangkung or rojak buah is needless to say, its sauce, because the main ingredients usually are served raw or simply blanched before they are served with the sauce. Here I have included the recipe of this nice sauce to be eaten with ‘yong tau fu’ and sotong kangkung type of rojak. Follow the recipe exactly and you will not be disappointed!
Mix all these together:
1cm cube belacan (held to a flame but be careful not to burn it!)
3 Tbsp petis
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp sweet soy sauce
10-12 small extra hot chillies ( cili padi) pounded
1 Tbsp chili paste (or as much as u like)
7-8 Tbsp sugar
salt to taste
80-100ml warm water
and finally, 1-2 Tbsp pounded roasted peanuts and 1 Tbsp roasted sesame seeds, for sprinkling on top of rojak
The original ingredients for sotong kangkung (according to my recipe) would be:
1 sotong kembang (sliced)
1 cucumber (sliced)
½ pineapple sliced and cut into small portions
4-5 fried tofu (sliced)
Back to my little potluck gathering. My Pakistani friend brought chapatis and a special type of parathas with potatoes and coriander leaves in them and another friend brought a very delicious chicken dish which tasted very Thai. One friend brought some Kiwi fruit jelly that was nice and our cousin brought with them a box of sinfully delicious Krispy Kreme sugar doughnuts that gave all the kids a second dose of energy that night that they were 'performing and singing' (read: making a racket) for the adults in the kitchen long after some of them should already have been in bed and fast asleep.
This is why I like potluck and small gatherings. You get to talk to everyone and you get to taste all kinds of food. Needless to say, I had a wonderful time chatting with my friends and eating – two things that I like best in the whole world.