Chefs' Recipes

Lau's Family Kitchen's calamari with shrimp sauce

A fresh, simple and easy seafood dish from the long-standing Melbourne restaurant.

By Gilbert Lau
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 5 mins cooking
  • Serves 2
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Lau Family Kitchen's calamari with shrimp sauce
This is one of the most beautiful dishes to eat at Lau's Family Kitchen. Its beauty lies in two elements – super-fresh calamari and the iconic shrimp paste, har cheong, from Tai O village in Hong Kong. This condiment pairs really well with seafood, and is similar to other Southeast Asian shrimp pastes such as belacan or terasi but has a milder taste. This dish is a cinch to make – thinly coat the calamari in the potato flour (this creates a smoother texture when eating) but just make sure not to overcook it or it'll turn rubbery.


  • 1 calamari (about 330gm), cleaned
  • 1 tbsp potato flour
  • 1 tsp har cheong (see note), mixed with 1 tbsp warm chicken stock
  • 1 spring onion, cut into julienne
  • 15 gm ginger (about 3cm), cut into julienne
  • ½ long red chilli, seeds removed, cut into julienne


  • 1
    Halve calamari hoods lengthways, score insides in a crosshatch pattern and cut into 5cm x 6cm strips. Transfer calamari to a bowl, add potato flour and mix well to coat.
  • 2
    Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add calamari and cook until opaque (1 minute). Drain well, quickly pat dry with a tea towel and transfer to a bowl. Combine calamari with har cheung mixture and season to taste. Top with spring onion, ginger and chilli, stir to combine and serve.


Har cheong, shrimp paste, is available from Chinese supermarkets.