FoTD: Nasi + Sotong Goreng Kunyit (Turmeric-Fried Squid with Rice)

Hey guys and welcome to another edition of FoTD – where I attempt to introduce dishes that are commonly found in Malaysia! Today’s dish will be Sotong Goreng Kunyit; ie turmeric-fried squid – one of my regular lunch meals. 😀

What Is Turmeric? 

For those not familiar with Asian spices, turmeric is a flowering plant commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine. It has an earthy, slightly bitter aftertaste, but when done well, is very aromatic, adding fragrance and flavour to dishes such as curries and stews. The spice is also purported to have medicinal benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties, and being rich in antioxidants.

Goreng Kunyit 

While it’s origins are unclear, Goreng Kunyit (literally ‘fried in turmeric’) has been gaining popularity in recent years, and you may find different varieties of meat and seafood prepared in this style, such as chicken (ayam goreng kunyit), beef (daging) and squid (sotong). They are typically sold at roadside stalls or food bazaars by Malay traders. The protein is first marinated in turmeric, curry powder and some cornflour ,then deep fried together with long beans, sliced carrots and onions. The dish is then served atop a bed of fluffy white rice with a side of sambal. Some places drizzle it over with sweet soy sauce (kicap manis) and chilli sauce. The sweet and salty combo makes it a great pairing with rice, and there are plenty of different textures to satisfy the palate – from the crunchiness of the vegetables to the springiness of the squid.

Where To Get It 

My personal favourite is from a food truck called Ayam Goreng Kunyit Power in Seksyen 51A Petaling Jaya, just in front of Menara Axis and across the road from the Asia Jaya LRT station. The line starts as early as 11.30AM, as soon as they open for business, and the squid – one of their bestsellers – runs out really fast! As far as I know, they are only open during weekdays to cater to the lunch crowd in the area, but may move around to different spots on weekends.


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