Pound sambal in a mortar and pestle for fantastic flavour.
600 gmcalamari, cleaned, cut into 3cm pieces2 tbspvegetable oilTo serve:lime wedgesPounded sambal1 tbspshrimp paste (belacan)5long red chillies, coarsely chopped2birdseye chillies, coarsely chopped5golden or red shallots, coarsely chopped5 gmginger, coarsely chopped1 tbspcaster sugar½vine-ripened tomato, seeds removed, coarsely choppedFinelygrated rind and juice of 1 limeCabbage saladJuiceof 2 limes1 tbspfish sauce1 tspcaster sugar400 gmred cabbage, shredded1 cup each(loosely packed) mint and coriander, coarsely torn
For pounded sambal, preheat oven to 180C. Wrap shrimp paste in foil and roast until pungent (4-5 minutes). Set aside to cool, then pound to a coarse paste in a mortar and pestle with remaining ingredients except lime juice. Add lime juice, stir and season to taste.
For cabbage salad, combine lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and 1 tbsp water in a small bowl and mix well. Place cabbage and herbs in separate bowls, add dressing to each and toss to combine.
Heat a large frying pan or char-grill pan over high heat. Combine calamari and oil in a bowl, season to taste, then cook, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through (2-3 minutes). Remove from heat, add sambal to taste, mix to combine, then serve with cabbage and herbs, lime wedges and remaining sambal to the side.