Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

(Posted by request)
If you drive at night along the Terengganu coastal road between May and December, look past the coconut trees and beyond the waves. You will see a long row of lights. Chances are you are looking at the lights of the squid jiggers or in Terengganuspeak, people candat sutong.

If the Northern and Southern Hemisphere have four seasons and Malaysia has two (wet and wetter), Terengganu has many seasons. Not just a time to be sowing but a time to mukat bilis (netting the anchovy), mengail kerisi (fishing) tenggiri or other fish in season and a time to candat sutong (squid jiggling).

Fishermen will leave as early as 3 pm to scramble for the choicest lubok, where the most squids congregate.

Soon after night falls, the fluorescent lights, powered either by a generator or an auto battery (wet cells) will be switched on to attract the squids (or calamari, if you haunt Italian restaurants). The fishermen use multiple hooks (the candat) with fish bait or they use a jig made of lead with 10 hooks embedded. This is called a "twist" by the locals. The candat and the twist are both attached to a separate fishing line, usually nylon.

During the candat season, squids are easily caught. Depending on the lubok, the fishermen can catch between 40 to 100 kg of squids per night. The squids hardly put up a fight although they are known to hose you with their black ink as soon as you get them on the boat. Mostly the squids are the straight torpedo type called torok (male) and the sotong tupat (female, with eggs). Sometimes you can get the big sutong katok and during the day, you might hook a sutong mengabang, which is shorter and fatter than the torok or sutong tupat. There is another sutong which Terengganu people call sutong kereta. It was much, much later that I found out that it was actually kurita or octopus.

If you are interested in experiencing candat sotong and you are not sea sick, contact your friendly travel agent. There are packages starting from RM140 per person (from Kuala Terengganu).

Squids aka calamari are good eats. They are delicious grilled, fried ( with or without batter) or whatever other way you can cook them. Like all delicious food, they are rich in cholesterol. But Terengganu people ignore this and gave us ketupat sotong with extra cholesterol. Ketupat sotong or tuppat sutong are egg-bearing squids stuffed with pulut (glutinous rice) and cooked in savoury gravy made with santan (coconut cream). You have to try this tuppat sutong once in your life. Hey, live dangerously. Since losing my teeth, I have managed to avoid this temptation but I won't stop any Kuala Terengganu people from telling me where they still make mouth-watering tuppat sutong. Lead me not into temptation, for I know my own way. Just tell me where the joint is.

Pictures of people (non-fishermen) catching squids. Can be slow, so be patient.

| 12:04 AM :: ::
39 CommentsOldStyle:
  • (background musig: Will Smith Getting Jiggy with it)

    Heh...Seafood galore! I wish i was back in the east coast reading this. I know for a fact the best squid you ever tasted is the one you cooked directly after it is been caught the candat way. The taste is sooo sweet.

    Ministry of Health warning:

    Having too much seafood will increase you calorie level and may also increase the risk of contracting Gout!

    Cheapest and craziest Seafood frenzy I had.

    5 kilo of Tiger prawns, simply fried with tumeric and salt. For 2. Only 10 ringgit. Where? Somewhere in Vietnam...hehehehe.

    By Blogger Sham, at 12:26 AM  
  • ooh yummy sounding that tuppat sotong..know anyone who sells 'em?

    By Blogger hyphenated L, at 1:26 AM  
  • OHHH Pok Ku I do LOVE Sotong! And had the pleasures of mencandat sotong a few times in Pulau Kapas, we took the boat off Primula so many moons ago - haha come to think of it the last time was 1992!
    And I love Ketupat Sotong. I remember the Tengganu version is white and is a savoury and the Kelantan and Besut ones are brownish lemak manis - totally sinful, as you said. I have been craving for some - any good place in KL to get some?

    By Blogger mangolisa, at 6:20 AM  
  • Candat Sotong.. WOW, I did that before, once somewhere in 1995. We had a 'foster family' programme at Kg Kemasin, Bachok. One of the day, we went 'candat sotong' just any other fisherman there would do. We leave at 4pm and came back around 3am. Although it was a bad night as there's almost no squid around, I did manage to catch one big squid. Not bad for a city boy from JB eh?

    By Blogger Amir EtCetera, at 7:31 AM  
  • Chandat Sotong... yeah. We used to lepak at the end of our hostel balcony and watch the light dotting along the horizon at sea in the evening. On some adventureous nights when 'khabak pagor' were on the agenda, some of us then waited for the fishermen to come ashore and bought some fresh squids to be grilled on our camp fire, normally at Rantau Abang. But, watch out... cikgu/warden might also venture there for the same reason.... syyy.... nnusuk, nnusuk chepak.

    By Blogger Atok, at 8:13 AM  
  • cerita pasal "tuppat sutong", teringat kisah "orang luar" (rakan housemate) membeli tuppat sutong untuk juadah berbuka puasa. Tiba waktu berbuka, dengan geramnya dicedok "sotong dan kuah" ke nasi. Dan...

    "Eh.. kenapa sotong ni manis?, siap ada pulut kat dalam??."

    dia tak tahu "tuppat sutong" tu sejenis kuih.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:43 AM  
  • Gosh, you're making me drool! Went candat once when we were in Pulau Kapas. Have to agree with Sham - it is best to eat fresh, preferably grilled *nyum*.

    Wan used to make the best tuppat sutong ever, but now since everyone tries to eat healthily, she stopped making any *sigh*. Married to a Johorian, I was told that one of the best way to cook sutong is masak kicap, using its 'dakwat'. I am still not convinced though..

    By Blogger lion3ss, at 8:43 AM  
  • Went candat one time at Muara Sungai Kuantan. Don't know whether was the best place for that. We never got any squid. We were constantly harrassed by "sotong" though. After enquiring further, it was discovered that spot was the meeting place between customers and "sotong". We went to candat the wrong sotong.

    By Blogger BJ, at 9:06 AM  
  • Any idea how to cook dried 'sutong katok' (minus the smell)?

    By Blogger atiza, at 9:17 AM  
  • We went for our mencandat sutun towards the last month of mencandat season in Pulau Kapas. It was marvellous. We managed to get 40 kilos of sutun and devided among us. Fresh from the sea and right into the hot pan. Voila' we had sutun the whole nite long and thank god I got my pills or else I will be scratching the whole nite.

    For a week we had a sutun festival, from goreng sutun to sambal sutun to sutun tempura to kerabu sutun.

    By Blogger Yeen Hashim, at 9:17 AM  
  • Never heard of it...but it definitely looks yummy!!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:25 AM  
  • makang ngan ikang bakar sedap tu..


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:55 AM  
  • Candat sotong one of the yearly event in Terengganu. Remind me of the old days when I was working in Kerteh, a friend invite me for the candat sotong trip. Funny, regret and excited ,that's what I can say regarding this activity. Funny because it was the first time going for candat sotong. Regret when you got sea. Excited when your candat twist/bait got hook. I still remember I'm wearing white t-shirt that night, and Pokku you know what will happened to me then..hahaha. That night also we were on the so called "kerandang"- do know how to translate - pokku help me. We caught about 2 x 54 Quart Coleman Box. I think it was a very good catch for beginner like me. After came back from the trip I throw away my shirt (you know why).
    "Tupat sutong" one of the my favourite..that why my cholestrol level quite nice and my uric? acid quite high as told by doctor.

    By Blogger striker, at 9:58 AM  
  • Wal lau weeh pok ku, i just had my breakfast but reading your post is making me hungry again. seafood = heaven! must give it a try. now if only i can get enough "kaki" for the long drive ;)

    Cheers!!! :D

    By Blogger hyelbaine, at 10:02 AM  
  • Mok made the BEST tuppat sutong evah.
    I still drool when I think of it.

    Mokciknab!! Belajar buat cepat!! I am sick of eating your nasik dagang.

    By Blogger elisataufik, at 10:03 AM  
  • Salams Pokku :) Yummy 'tupat sutong'.. mouth watering betol biler cite pasal makan nie :) As valisa said..Kelantan punye tupat sutong is very much different from Trg ..sama gok mcm nasi dagang..dok gitu Pokku? but for outsider..they never noticed the differences (+ nasi dagang)..even from the 'gula ikan aye' & of course acar timung.** suka tengok @ baca ejaan between 'sutong' & 'sotong'.. I missed KT so much... :(

    By Blogger ceklong, at 10:05 AM  
  • these are the things, when I read, I want the kids to grow up quickly..so I can go candat sotong and other activities. Aahhh can't wait.

    By Blogger Lollies, at 10:21 AM  
  • Ever since my ex-roomate in college told me about tupat sotong, I had been craving for it (that was more than 10 years back) *sighs*. Ganu-friends all promised to cook for me, but I've yet to actually taste it *sobs*

    On a happier note...I am going to candat this May yaaaayyy!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:11 AM  
  • My mother cant eat sutong. If she does...jadi lembik tuboh badang. What a waste!

    By Blogger Kok Bi, at 11:12 AM  
  • Waaaahhh..postings also got request one ah? heh...I have one request as well lah..

    but first, I remember spending a whole day under a rang ikang kering (literally) with 'Tera, frying sotong that the fishermen would bring up. Have yet to similate that experience yet. One of a kind indeed.

    Anyway, nih nak request skik...Last Friday, Uncle Din was telling a story about Ayah Wa(?), a colourful character in Besut who works in a club as a 'boy'. Each time you brought back your guitar to Besut, he would ask you to play a song, almost always Seri Mersing. He loves to rear birds as well. Uncle Din said you would have loads of funny stories about Ayah Wa. Could we request one of them in your next post then?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:18 AM  
  • and i thought this request thingy stops at Radio Muzik !


    - joe -

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:27 AM  
  • May be you can add tuppat sutong recipe here..Ohh..my...I think I should go home soon..

    By Blogger zaireen, at 11:27 AM  
  • my first attempt of making "tuppat sotong" several years back went quite messy since I didn't properly pinned the 'janggut' to its body and part of 'pulut' spilled out. It left me with 'not-so-fat tuppat' and slightly burnt gravy...hmmmm have to try again.

    By Blogger OneEE, at 11:50 AM  
  • wah, mr bustaman....seafood season kah ??
    love prawns cooked in any style but for sotong, only steamboat & deep fried.
    makes me wanna go for sea food dinner !

    By Blogger Chief, at 11:51 AM  
  • my first attempt of making 'tuppat sotong' went quite messy since I didn't not pinned the 'janggut' properly to its body, part of the glutinous rice (pulut) spilled out leaving the gravy slightly burnt...but it's still yummy, it's just that I didn't have a real fat 'tuppat sotong'....hmm, should try again.

    By Blogger OneEE, at 12:08 PM  
  • Sudilah kiranya uncle dapat memberi resepi 'ketupat sotong' ni dengan memaparkannya diblog atau menge-mail saya di burungkukukaku@yahoo.com.

    (Menaip sambil air liur meleleh-leleh)

    Terima kasih didahulukan.

    By Blogger Aku Tak Reti, at 12:56 PM  
  • Pokku
    The photo of the sotong bakar looks exactly like the cumi-cumi at Sundanese (KLCC). Yum. My mom made tuppat sotong once. Only once :(


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:07 PM  
  • I feel SO blur because I've never heard of chandat sotong!! In fact, I'm quite, quite blur when it comes to most things East Coast (except *gulps* telor penyu!!) .. maklumlah, mak orang Penang, bapak orang Johor, kite orang KL (or Johor, depending on who I'm talking to!). :p

    I don't think I can ever try chandat-ting, as I'm phobic about the sea, and I'm quite sure they do that on a sampan/boat and not a sturdy ship, kan?

    Coming from the other side of the Peninsular, my sotong sumbat goreng will always be stuffed with minced prawns and garnishing, .. then deep fried, .. then cooked in sambal tumis. I think it's a Johor dish. So with my own idea about what a sotong sumbat should be, I got the shock of my life when I tried the sotong sumbat at the shops, which is probably, the 'tupat sotong, or a Kelantanese variation of the same dish. Unfortunately, my taste buds just can't accept pulut in the sotong, instead of minced prawns!! :(

    Psst ... any future posting on telur penyu, Pok Ku? *winks*

    By Blogger Ms.B, at 3:28 PM  
  • PokKu- Thanks for the Candat posting. It is interesting that you translate candat to "jiggling". According to you, the word candat is verbalize to mean to jiggle ( to wiggle, waggle and shake to and fro to piston up and down) , I suppose , where you put the multihooks instrument as fast as possible into the waters and then you pull it up slowly and jigglingly ( as though you jiggle the tea sache)and they will hook on the sotong flesh and slowly and steadily you pulled it up. Perhaps the word candat refers to the noun i.e. the squid hooker . So it is the Squid Hooking. Of course when you use the hooker, you have to do a lot of jiggling,etc. to get the squid . If you over jiggle , the hooker will detached from the squid and you pulled up empty hooks. Sometimes , I confused the word candat with canda - so we go to bercanda dengan sotong !! It is better to bercanda janda though

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:43 PM  
  • my dad and i are the only ones in the family that like seafood. apparently, according to the others, seafood stinks and tastes bad. so we rarely have seafood. :( the squids look so yummy.


    By Blogger saRah, at 4:47 PM  
  • I was in a candat sotong trip once. It was part of the package of the university Pulau Kapas trip. It was at night, the waves were rocky, the seas was not co-operating and I threw up more times than I care to remember.
    8 went on that boat and 7 were down for the count within an hour. I got 1 small lousy sotong and I told the crew to screw themselves and get me and my fallen comrades home.
    Throwing up with nothing in your stomach hurts big time.

    By Blogger K. Light, at 5:01 PM  
  • Sham:
    Oh yes, if you can cook the squids on the boat itself, yummy!

    hyphenated L:
    Wait until you are back in Malaysia.

    Valisa Iskandar:
    Terengganu's version is savoury while the Kelantanese tuppat sutong might have "nissang" added.

    Not bad at all! Congrats!

    LOL! You must have been in the Dungun campus.

    Anon@8.43 am:
    That must have been the Kelantanese tuppat sutong.

    Try it once. Might be good.

    LOL! What "sotong" did you meet?

    The smell is the attraction. Grill well and then whack the sotong with a mallet or something equally heavy.

    LOL! Pulau Kapas has good "lubok".

    You have to try it once.


    Valuable lesson learnt eh?

    Let me know when you are going and I will get you a good guide with a 12-seater speed boat.

    I missed Mok's tu[ppat tu. One of you should have learnt the recipe and practised when she was around.

    Go back more often!

    InsyaAllah! You can always leave the kids with the in laws and go.

    Good luck! Maybe in May there will be tuppat sutong for sale. Keep a look out.

    Awww, tak ada rezeki.

    Aaah..fresh-grilled sotongs are always heavenly especially outdoors. Will try to remember stories about arwah Ayah Wa (Mama's uncle who lived in KT,not Besut). See if Mama can remember any.

    LOL! I accede to requests whenever I can

    Go home between May and September.

    Fasten the sotong with "lidi". Forget the head & janggut. They can be outside.

    I need to distract people from all the recent sadness.

    Saya reti makan aja, masak tak reti. Bila dapat rsepi, say kirim, insyaAllah.

    Did you enjoy it?

    Its perfectly safe if you chose a not-so-rickety boat. Telur penyu? Hmmmmmm...InsyaAllah.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 5:04 PM  
  • Anon@4.43pm:
    LOL! That was witty! Thanks for sharing. Dont make a habit of bercanda with the janda though. You might get candat-ed yourself.

    Enjoy! One man's meat is another man's poison. Remember?

    I threw up in boats many times until nothing is left to throw up. It didn't stop me from going out to sea though.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 5:11 PM  
  • PokKu- What is the function of cholesterol in your body? It is used by the body for thinking and for sex. If you lack in cholesterol , your thinking process will not function well and your sex drive and sex activities will be malfunction . So , I eat a lot of cholesterol for the sake of my HEADS

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:35 PM  
  • Wow.. Sedap!!! :)

    By Blogger SleekBlackMercedes, at 10:24 PM  
  • Had the opportunity to candat sotong while on a boat trip. Our boatman knew how and through the night he just kept on hitching sotong over the jetty and in the end we ended up with about 30. Roasted them over the fire with belacan and limau, tasted heavenly! And people pay RM140 to do this!!! Wow

    By Blogger Kervin, at 10:45 PM  
  • That must taste oh so heavenly! *drools*

    By Blogger naz, at 11:50 PM  
  • PokKu... panda.
    I'm one of the first batch/pioneer product of SMS Dungun.

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