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Stir-fried Pork with Cincaluk Recipe (Heh Ya Kay Char Bak)

Stir-fried Pork with Cincaluk (Heh Ya Kay Char Bak)

A few months ago, I introduced cincaluk (preserved shrimp) to the world my readers with a special Nyonya dish “steamed eggs with cincaluk.” Today, I am giving you the second installment of this unique ingredient with stir-fried pork with cincaluk. Known in Hokkien dialect as Heh Ya Kay Char Bak, this Nyonya creation graced my family’s dining table very often when I was growing up…

While cincaluk is not everyone’s cup of tea, for those who love it, it lends a very distinct and exotic flavor to the main ingredient, in this case, pork. The generous use of green bell peppers, red chiles, cincaluk, fried shallots and garlic add great colors and infuse the pork with droolsome aroma and pungent taste. This is what the Chinese call 色香味, meaning color, aroma, and taste

Stir-fried Pork with Cincaluk (Heh Ya Kay Char Bak)

Cincaluk is unique, versatile, and loaded with powerful (aka stinky) and complex flavors…are you up for it?

Related Recipe: Steamed Eggs with Cincaluk

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27 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. UnkaLeong

    Hmm…If an unlucky Customs Officer were to stop you and inspect your luggage when you are transporting this back, just pop the bottle open and ask him to take a deep breathe…Hahahah…

  2. Ming_the_Merciless

    I had cincalut many times as a kid until my dad decided it wasn’t healthy to eat those things. Since then it was banned from the household. :-)

    I’m trying very hard to remember how we serve it but I’m drawing a blank. I remember how it looks like and how it tastes but I don’t recall how my mom use it.


  3. Claude-Olivier


    The colors of the pictures are so nice and strong, are you using a software to retouch them ?? Or are you playing with the light…anyway, it looks astonishing and beautiful, I could smell it here ;-) ??? When are you making a desert ??? The last one was a long time ago no ?

    Passe une très bonne journée (because you had to learn french ;-) Have a very nice day


  4. Kok

    rasa malaysia,
    Cincaluk reminds me of my friend. His name is Sia XXX Luk. But he always calls himself “Chen Jia Luk” which means Cincaluk. haha!

  5. C2

    Definately an acquired taste.I believe it’s made from pickled small shrimps(bubuk)Great complimentary dish. Accidentally tapped into your blog while searching for recipes. Great presentation on the dishes, nice shots and definately great taste on the choice of holiday accomodation.

  6. Anonymous

    Hi ! Rasa Malaysia.

    Chinchaluk with sliced onions, red chilles and lime juice. Serve with rice…Yummylicious


  7. audreycooks

    Claude Oliver, just curious … does that mean passing one very good journey?

    Unkaleong, I would be the very lucky custom officer!

    RS, Love your photography … getting more professional already…

  8. simcooks

    If I remember correctly, I used to eat Cincaluk with grilled stingray. Yeah. really yummy. I think I saw this sold in Ranch 99 before.

  9. tigerfish

    I’m familiar with the steamed egg cincaluk version. Cincaluk is Heh Ya Kay?

  10. PrincessJournals

    where did u get the cincaluk? dont tell me u brought them fr msia thru the custom?? i personally have never eaten cincaluk nor budu.

  11. Rasa Malaysia

    Unka – LOL, too funny, but true. The “fume” of cincaluk is very keng, I agree the immigration officer would bolt ASAP. :P

    Ming – You should try cincaluk again and reacquire the taste! You can actually find Cincaluk in the Asian stores here but they are imported from the Philippines…the taste is slightly different.

    Tummy – LOL. You must have had bad cincaluk before. The good ones is good. ;)

    Claude – I left a comment on your blog. Check it out. French, I wish I understand French. :(

    Anonymous – you can, those important from the Philippines but the taste is slightly different.

    Lucia – I like sambal cincaluk though. I always get them whenever I eat at Malay rice stalls. :)

    Kok – hehe, funny. Does he like Cincaluk?

    C2 – Welcome to Rasa Malaysia and thanks for your kind comment. Yes, cincaluk is made from tiny shrimp called geragau, which is a delicacy. Mix them with some flour and eggs and deep fried (ala prawn fritters style), yummy! Sad thing is I haven’t seen geragau in the wet markets in Penang for the longest time. Is Bubuk the same as geragau?

    Anonymous – I know, my favorite kind of condiment actually. Best with limau kasturi and with grilled fish…drool drool!

    Audrey – no it meant have a good day. Claude is such a sweetie. Happy that you like my new pictures…when you are getting your DSLR? ;)

    Simcooks – spot on. Yes, you can make it into a sambal cincaluk condiment and it complement grilled fish perfectly.

    Tiga – yes, Cincaluk is called Heh Yah Kay in Hokkien. :)

    Princess – obviously it was brought back from Malaysia. LOL. You should really try cincaluk, so good. Wait, I make ikan panggang and sambal cincaluk sambal, I tell you, you will be hooked. I can also cook chicken with cincaluk so it’s halal and you try. OK? :)

  12. Kenny Mah

    Oh oh oh. I was just chatting with Lyrical Lemongrass about cincaluk the other day and how we both LOVE it. It’s certainly an acquired taste but I can so envision a whole cookbook dedicated to it.

    I’d call it “To Cincaluk, With Love” … sounds good, yes? ;)

  13. C2

    Rasa Malaysia-Yes bubuk is geragau. It appears name geragau is as foreign to me as bubuk is to you. They call it bubuk in Sarawak.Yes i do remember those prawn fritters. Thanks!Now I’m feeling hungry and deprived at the same time:+). Plenty of fresh bubuk the last time I was there.

  14. Timothy

    Hey hey, you sound like you’re a hokkien lang. Are you?

    Anyway, D200 is okay … but a camera is still a camera. It has more to do with the one behind the camera. Like you, for instance. Right?

    Btw, I just posted another .. still on my S5000 though … too damn comfy to move on for the moment.

  15. Rasa Malaysia

    Steamy Kitchen – Tamarind is one of the best ingredients and I use it a lot in my cooking. You should try it.

    Kenny – I am glad that you love cincaluk, yeah, the title of the book sounds good, I like it. ;)

    C2 – thanks for telling me about bubuk in Sarawak, I will be on the lookout for them if I go there.

    Kok – cool. :)

    WMW – I have yet to try cincaluk with omelette, hmmm, I wonder how it tastes.

    Timothy – yes, I am from Penang, what do you think? ;) I loved my SD450 because it’s so convenient and takes great pictures. Your S5000 is awesome too, your pictures are already good. The thing with DSLR is that you can be more creative with the angles and the background looks a lot blurrer. Hehe.

  16. Keropok Man

    cincaluk that has been prepared well is very very nice!

    there’s this stall we always go, they serve keropok with cincaluk mixed with slided shallots and they taste so so so good!

    also another peranakan dish, cincaluk with eggs, oooooo.. so so so delicious too!

  17. Anonymous

    Being Peranakan myself and living in Australia, i really miss old fashioned home cooking! Your recipes helped me remember a lot of the stuff i haven’t prepared in a long time. Love the blog! This site is waaaaay better than Mrs Lee’s cookbook!

  18. Anonymous

    This is the first time i hear about stir-fried pork with cincaluk. I hate cincaluk but your stir-fried pork with cincaluk recipe makes it sounds good.

  19. I love geragau. As we are from Melaka, we used to get it by the seaside in Limbongan. Mom used to cook the geragau (small shrimp used to make cincaluk) with eggs. They were yummy. It has been ages since I had geragau. Must go to the wet market to see if it’s available. One day must try to eat cincaluk. Though I am from Melaka, I have never tasted cincaluk. What a shame!

    Love your blog, Rasa Malaysia. The photos are beautiful.

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