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Steamed Eggs with Cincaluk Recipe

Steamed Eggs with Cincaluk

Blamed it on either my Nyonya heritage or my own disturbingly distinct palate, but I have a penchant for what other people would classify as stinky foods. Stinky as in salted fish, Chinese cheese, belacan, and yes, fermented shrimp. My neighbors go out to eat when I prepare this last dish.

Locally known as Cincaluk, it usually comes packaged in a small glass bottle and can be purchased at markets throughout Malaysia. This delicacy is particularly popular in the Peranakan states of Melaka and Penang.

The main ingredient of Cincaluk is Geragau–little tiny shrimps found off the west coast of Malaysia. Fermented with salt, water, and sugar, Cincaluk is an acquired taste even to many Malaysians. Cincalok is commonly used to make Cincaluk Sambal with slices of shallots, bird’s eye chilies, and lime juice. It’s also used as flavoring for certain stir-fried Nyonya dishes…

Raw Cincaluk

Personally, I love my Cincaluk with steamed eggs. Adding just a couple spoonful of Cincaluk turns a plain and boring steamed egg into a savory dish, plus it only takes just a few ingredients and less than 10 minutes to whip up.

Steamed Eggs with Cincaluk

Mmmmm. The one downside being the pungent smell lingering in your kitchen after the meal. So consider yourself warned, and perhaps you should warn the neighbors too!

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31 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Rasa Malaysia

    Ho Jiak,

    I think my Indonesian maid bought it in Jelutong morning market. It’s quite good. The brand is Cincaluk, LOL. Made by Merdeka Trading in Melaka.

  2. Rasa Malaysia

    cmos, thanks for visiting Rasa Malaysia. Yep, this is one of those long forgotten recipe…gotta stock it up in your fridge. ;)

  3. Rasa Malaysia


    Sounds familiar…I will have to call home and find out from my mother or aunt about Nasi Ubi…

    Cincaluk or “Heh Ya Keh” (in Hokkien) is also superb when stir-fried with fatty pork.

  4. Chubbypanda

    Mmmm… Cincaluk. Love that stuff. Have you tried stir frying it with eggs, Chinese fermented tofu, scallions, and short-grained rice? Soooo gooood….

    – Chubbypanda

  5. Rasa Malaysia


    No, haven’t tried that variation. You should cook and post it on your blog and then I can learn from you. ;)

  6. Ho Jiak

    I must try and cook this dish…looks very delicious indeed…gotta buy the brand u recommended as u say it was good;)Hmmm…this weekend maybe

  7. boo_licious

    Wow – I have never tried steamed eggs with cincaluk. The most I have tried is cincaluk omelette which we get at the Nyonya restaurants.

  8. Rasa Malaysia

    Toni Xe – well, it’s actually not that bad…come on, you are a Malaysia, not an Irish. So no guiness for you. ;)

    Foodcrazee – no limau kasturi…if you put in a few drops of those and I am sure it won’t hurt.

    Ho Jiak – let me know how it turns out. The key to selecting the best Cincaluk lies in the color; it should be pinkish in color, and clear. If a brand looks reddish (which is probably colorings) and murky, it means it’s low grade.

    Tess – yes, but once they taste it, I think they will run. It really is an acquired taste.

    Boolicious – you should try making it at home…very easy, I promise.

    Elmomonster – Not sure of the name in Bahasa Indonesia, but my Indonesian maid calls it Cincaluk. ;)

    Tummythoz – aren’t you from around Penang? :P

  9. Audrey Cooks

    Aiyo, I think I have the same distinctive palate as yours… maybe that’s what makes your reviews and recipes so palatable! Btw do u like petai? or even tempoyak? Hmmm???

  10. Rasa Malaysia

    Audrey Cooks – I love most stinky food but I don’t like petai and do not eat them. I mean, if they are in Sambal Udang Petai, I just eat the shrimps but skip the Petai all together. My late grandmother loved them, and living with her growing up and having to suffer the “aftermath” (kentut) of eating petai basically turned me away from them. ;) What is tempoyak? I haven’t never heard of it and have just googled…fermented Durian. WOW! I am sure it must be real stinky!!!

    Passionate Eater – yes, but not always the case though. For example, I can never eat Stinky Tofu. I was in Taipei and almost puked when I smelled them.

  11. Audrey Cooks

    My East Malaysian friend of mine introduced me tempoyak fried with scrambled egg omelette. Stinky is the word but an absolute ‘acquired taste’… I loved it ever since!

  12. Anonymous

    Wahh..Bee Yin, this delicacy I had long forgotten until now !!
    Reminds me of my dad’s cincalok days..boy, long day..haha
    another great essentric taste !!
    thanks for sharing :)

  13. superbeginner

    didn’t know tht i could use cincaluk to make a dish…i only ever ate it with limau as an appetizer before.. talking abt appetizers, here’s one that’s easy to make… just slice some small bawangs and lay it on a plate with some ikan bilis then steam. after steaming squeeze some limau over it…

  14. Anonymous

    oh my…!!
    the photos and everything are outstanding. i am sending this blog to all my friends. thanks for the recipes!

  15. Rick

    great site and recipes!
    I live in the US and every bottle of chinchalok I have bought explodes upon opening.
    ever have this problem?
    is this a sign of it being past expiration?
    still safe to eat at this point?
    opening a new bottle today inside a ziploc bag so I wont have to scrape it off the ceiling.

  16. wan

    Officially it’s cencaluk with a somehow loose translation, “prawn pickles”.

    I in the a part of Malaysia where eating out is torture so this recipe saves me. LOL

  17. Wan

    Officially it’s cencaluk with a loose translation, prawn pickles.

    I live in a part of Malaysia where eating out is torture. So this recipe saves my day. LOL

  18. sharonsb

    I bought a bottle of cincalok from an Asian grocery store in New Jersey. When i tried to open it, it exploded (like a champagne bottle) and spewed the stinky stuff all over my kitchen wall and ceiling. I dared not get another bottle after that!!! Maybe when the desire for it is overwhelming!!!

  19. Bernadette

    It’s normal for the contents to explode after opening, as in, it happens but it doesn’t mean the cincaluk has expired. After discovering the hard (and messy) way, I find that one way is to puncture a hole in the bottle cap first before opening.

    Another way (especially useful if you’re planning to transport a bottle of cincaluk overseas), is to freeze it first. That means you pack a bottle of frozen cincaluk, wrapped in lots of newspaper, in your luggage – less chances of it exploding in your bag too!

    Then when opening the bottle for the first time, open while the contents are frozen. This way it won’t explode, and you can recap the rest and refridgerate.

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