Cakalang Fufu: tuna Sulawesi-style

Who would have thought that people from Manado and the surrounding areas of North Sulawesi would have such a delicious recipe for simple tuna?


After the cakalang (Minahasan for skipjack tuna) fish has been cleaned (scaled and gutted), the flesh of cakalang is split into two parts and clipped upon a bamboo frame that has been prepared previously. Then the fish meat is cured using soda powder, salt and some spices for flavouring. The tuna meat curing process takes about four hours and the time needed for cooling is about two hours. The process continues until the colour of skipjack tuna turns reddish and the meat texture becomes dry and crispy.

Cakalang Fufu is a delicacy of Sulawesi
Cakalang Fufu is a delicacy of Sulawesi

If processed correctly, cakalang fufu could last for a month, thus can be distributed throughout Indonesia as processed seafood. In North Sulawesi, Cakalang fufu is a popular dish and often bought by travellers as gifts. Although it is well known throughout Eastern Indonesia, the main production centres more precisely around the fishing town of Bitung, North Sulawesi.


Cakalang fufu can be heated or fried and directly consumed with steamed rice accompanied with dabu-dabu (Minahasan sambal), or become the ingredient of other dishes, such as mixed with potato salad, sprinkled upon noodles, or cooked as spicy rica-rica with chili pepper. It has a strong smoky flavour, thanks to being cooked over burning coconut husks.

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