Sotong Kangkung (water convolvulus with squid)


I believe this dish is localised in only a few states in Malaysia like Penang. It’s sauce is a little similar to rojak sauce but less pungent. Called Joo Hoo Eng Chai or Sotong Kangkung in Bahasa Malaysia.

This dish is usually eaten as an appetitizer or more like a salad. It has pre-soaked squid which is brown in colour. This squid is actually dried squid soaked in alkali water or air abu/karn sui. The green vegetable is kangkong or water convolvulus blanched in hot water. A sweet sauce is poured over it and grounded peanuts sprinkled on them. Chillie sauce is usually put at the side.

A rather expensive dish as it costs between RM6 to RM12 per plate. Some hawkers are rather stingy on the portion of the squids as they are quite expensive. Sometimes, you may end up with a big plate of kangkung, which is a very, very cheap vegetable. A big bunch of kangkung costs a mere 50 sens!

However, I believe most of these hawkers who sell sotong kangkong soaked their own dried squids. It is not difficult to make our own brown squids and they taste a lot better than those we bought from supermarkets and markets. Some of them really stinks whilst others are rather thin and small. Hence, only good qualities squids are used in the preparation.

I do not order this dish very often so I really have no idea which place in Penang sells the best sotong kangkung. However, I know the one in Sungai Tiram has rather nice one. Sungai Tiram is on the way to the Bayan Lepas International Airport. It is famous for its fish head beehoon (which is over priced).

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