Cincalok (or Chinchalok/Cencaluk) is a Malaccan/Penang food (see Cuisine of Malaysia) made of fermented small shrimps or krill. It is usually served as a condiment together with chillis, shallots and lime juice. It is similar to Bagoong Alamang (see shrimp paste) in the Philippines and Cencalok in Indonesia.
In Melaka, the shrimp is called udang geragau. The shrimp in the pinkish coloured cincalok are readily identifiable and the taste is salty. This shrimp is available in particular season in Pantai Klebang, Limbongan, Tanjung Kling and several coastal areas.
The process of making cincalok requires several steps. Fresh small prawns (udang geragau) are added with salt and rice in equal proportions. After the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, it will be sealed in a jar and allowed to ferment for three days. There are also cincalok-makers who increase the proportion of rice in the mixture believing it to enhance the taste of the finished product.
As the finished product is fermented in a glass container, the fermentation process causes pressure to build up inside the container. Hence, care must be taken when opening the pressurized container containing ready-made cincalok.
- Clark, Melissa. "'From Malaysia, a Pungent Ferment' - The Chef: Zak Pelaccio, New York Times Dining & Wine". The New York Times. The New York Times.
- Gateway to Peranakan Food Culture Gek Suan Tan, Tan Gek Suan, Wing Fee. Asiapac Books Pte Ltd. ISBN 981-229-389-2