Cincaluk. Either you love it or hate it! It is an acquired taste. This delicacy is loved by almost every Babas and Nyonyas. Cincaluk is a mixture of raw small shrimps, cold cooked rice and salt. This combination is then left in a cool place for the fermentation process until it is ready to be consumed. It is sold packed in glass bottles and can be found in almost every supermarkets, wet markets, even in some restaurants in Malacca. Cincaluk can be used in cooking or eaten as it is as an accompaniment to other dishes by adding sliced fresh chilli, sliced shallots and lime juice.
Needless to say, my family just love cincaluk. When used in cooking, remember that it is very salty, so do not use too much. To reduce the saltiness, just use the required amount and put it in a small bowl, add some hot water and wash away the saltiness by draining the cincaluk. Repeat this process once or twice (depending on the saltiness of the cincaluk) and the drained cincaluk is ready for cooking. This method is suitable if you are making Cincaluk Omelette. Now I do not know how to describe the taste of cincaluk. It is salty and the smell is well, it is the smell of fermented shrimp! Those who do not care for this delicacy, say that it stinks! But for those of us who loves cincaluk, this is a wonderful stink! What else can I say, except, try it yourself!
This delicious recipe is from the cookbook, "Nyonya Flavours". It is really tasty eaten with plain white rice. Simple, quick and yummy. Try it out!
Stir-Fried Cincaluk Pork
(adapted from the cookbook "Nyonya Flavours")
2-3 tbsp oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 tbsp cincaluk
300gm pork fillet, thinly sliced
1 tbsp tamarind juice
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 red chilli, seeded and sliced diagonally
1 green chilli, seeded and sliced diagonally
- Heat up the oil in a wok over medium heat to fry the shallot until crisp and golden brown. Dish out and set aside.
- In the remaining oil, fry the garlic slices until fragrant and just lightly browned. Remove half of the garlic and set aside before adding the cincaluk.
- Saute the cincaluk until fragrant before adding the meat. Stir-fry for a few seconds and add the tamarind juice, sugar and salt. Allow to cook for 10-20 minutes.
- Lastly, add the chillies. Turn off the heat, dish out onto a serving plate and top with the shallot crisps and fried garlic slices.