Cincalok (or Chinchalok/Cencaluk) is a Melakan food (see Cuisine of Malaysia) made of fermented small shrimps or krill. It's considered that the method of production was brought with the Portuguese sailors who were probably well familiar with fishing and fish processing. The link today is with the Cristang people but Cincalok is enjoyed by most Malaysian groups; certainly not exclusively the Cristang/Eurasian. 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.
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.
Cincalok manufacturing
The process of making cincalok requires several steps to create a product of high quality with a pleasing texture when consumed. 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.


  • Chicken breast, cut into pieces - 1 kilogram
  • Preserved shrimps paste (cincalok),  drained -140 grams
  • Cooking oil.
  • Shallots, peeled and sliced - 15 pieces
  • Garlic, peeled and sliced - 7 cloves
  • Kaffir lime leaves -3 pieces
  • Tamarind juice -400 ml
  • Sugar - 4 tablespoons
  • Red chilies (cut into three pieces) - 3 pieces
  • Green chilies (cut into three pieces) - 3 pieces

Grind into fine paste: (called rempah)
  1. Thai Shallots - 15 pieces
  2. Fresh peeled turmeric or tumeric powder - 2 inches or 2 tsp
  3. Lemon grass (sliced ends) - 5 stalks

  1. Sauté shallots and garlic until crispy.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Fry the rempah in a little oil until aromatic. Add chicken, cincalok, lime leaves, tamarind extract, add sugar and cook until the mix thickens.
  3. Add the chillie pieces and half of the crisp-fried shallots and garlic and stir together. 
  4. Garnish with crisp-fried shallots and garlic.
  5. Serve the dish. Diners may add their own salt.