Cincalok is made of fermented tiny shrimps known as ‘acetes’ or in Malay, ‘udang geragau’. It is often used in dishes and dips. It is mostly found in cities where the Peranakan community lives such as Malacca and Penang. Cincalok is often added to dishes for its flavour. One of the many popular ways to use cincalok is adding them to a plain omelette. Doing so results in a flavourful omelette filled with umami. The very mild hint of fermented shrimps makes the taste of this omelette unique.
Substitute for cincalok
It is especially difficult to get hold of cincalok (fermented tiny shrimps) like those sold in Malaysia. I had no choice but to use the Philippines version known as ‘bagoong alamang’. It is very much saltier compared to the usual cincalok. When making this dish with bagoong alamang, skip salt as it is not really needed.