Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cincalok Braised Chicken

The chicken pieces are braised in a thick gravy of  ' cincalok ' -  made of fermented small shrimps or krill. In Malacca , the shrimp is called ' udang geragau '. It is a pinkish coloured shrimps fermented in thick brine solutions and rice and the taste is very saltish. This shrimp is available in particular season in Pantai Klebang, Limbongan, Tanjung Kling and several coastal areas in Malaysia. It is usually served as a condiment together with chillis,shallots and lime juice.  My MIL used them to braise chicken pieces or pork slices.  A truly malaysian cuisine , its origin is debatable , and after first tasting this flavorful chicken dish , I knew I had to learn from her and today I can proudly say now my standard is as good as hers :p  for WB said :  "not bad , as good as mom's cooking "  a feather to my cap.....but thanks to MIL tutoring :)

A very simple and easy to prepare dish using just a few ingredients....the main ingredient , of course the fermented shrimps , and braise the chicken pieces in a claypot with some tamarind paste for 30 minutes , garnish with fried shallots and a aromatic cincalok braised chicken dish is ready for dinner. The family loves this dish and they will say ' grandma signature dish ' :)  you know why I smile...that means I managed to get it right in taste - MIL standard !  When I took some snapshots of this dish, the color did not compliment the dish problem I guess :p

Cincalok Braised Chicken

Ingredients :

1/2 chicken - remove skin and cut into bite size pieces

4 tbsp of cincalok ( fermented shrimp )
6 bird's eye chillies - sliced
3 tbsp tamarind paste mix with 3/4 cup water * more tamarind paste if you want it more tangy

8 shallots - slice and fry them till crispy
3 tbsp of olive oil


Lightly saute the cincalok  and chilies with olive oil in  a claypot under medium heat till fragrant, add in the chicken pieces and stir till well blended with the cincalok mixture and simmer till the chicken is half cooked. Add in the tamarind water and stir again and simmer for another 20 minutes. If you want more gravy add another 1/4 cup of water and braised till the chicken is cooked. Add in the fried shallots . Off the heat and dish up or serve in the claypot . Garnish with more fried shallots.

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend !

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  1. Yum!!! I just mix chicken with cincalok...add ginger slices and msg and a bit of water and steam... Nice! Can use pork belly instead of chicken also.

  2. Elin, I've often seen dried shrimps in Asian stores but never knew how they were used in a recipe. Thanks for this informative post. The dish sounds delicious.

  3. thanks for sharing this cos i do not know how to cook with cincalok. I have not eaten concalok for decades. Truly malaysian and truly hungry now!!

  4. delicious looking as ever. Temting me to eat but i geli to eat cincalok and budu

  5. hi Elin

    what a flavorful dish! I have never used fermented shrimp I can just imagine the wonderful flavors of that and the tamarind paste!
    I be my girls would love this!

  6. Elin, I can always count on you to introduce me to something new. This sounds so flavorful. I'm going to have to visit you someday and try out your wonderful dishes.

  7. Never tasted cincaluk with rice.. ok, i go malacca to get u some bottles.. wan ah?

  8. Looks delicious! You know, although I grew up in Malaysia, I have yet to taste cincalok! I do remember people buying them by the bucketload in Malacca though :)

  9. It's an appetizing dish. Would love to try it out, but I'm worry that once I purchase a bottle of cincaluk, I can't manage to use it up in my cooking.

  10. I always wonder what do people do with cincalok, it's so salty! I should pick up a bottle next time to try this. Sounds fab!

  11. The chicken must have tasted wonderfully with cincalok.

  12. aiyoh, another yummy dish, now i feel so hungry just looking at the picture, hehehe..I never try to cook with cincalok, must get a bottle and try this out. Thanks for sharing.

  13. is real appetizing using this ingredient in meat :) Yup I sometimes use lean meat for this dish..yummy !

    Anna...this is not dried shrimps..this is fresh shrimps ( krill) fermented in brine solution :) you may get this from the asian grocer.

    Lena...yup nyonya dish I think :)

    Kathy...not many ppl like this cincalok but I love it LOL!

    Chef Dennis....haha I am not so sure your gals will like it...strong fishy smell :p

    CC...thanks for your kind words, I am always encouraged by you :) Hope you find my recipe exotic and interesting :) nid to buy from Malacca...Jusco got lots of it :) why carry the bottle back from Malacca :)

    Jen...haha yup fresh from Malacca so tourists will buy them back but now it is available at supermart all over the country :)

    Little Inbox...they come in small bottle now so you can finish using them in no time:) should try cooking this I love it with the tamarind paste and hot chillies and with the fried makes a flavorful dish !

    Angie...yes it is flavorful :) are welcome...a must try for a Malaysian :)

  14. I miss this :( .. I want I want I want


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