Cincalok Fried Rice

Cincalok Fried Rice captures the true essence of Malaysian Peranakan comfort food. Fry up a large batch for your festive open house this Eid 2019.

Cincalok or fermented salted micro shrimp, krill (or “geragao” in Bahasa Melayu) has an incredible umami, salty flavour. A small amount added to dips for raw traditional salads (ulam), rice dishes and even omelettes boosts flavour to new heights!.

Cincalok is always packed in clear, glass bottles. Choose product that has a natural, light pink colour which indicates freshness. Avoid those dim, brownish ones, because they have aged or air has entered the bottle, causing oxidation.


2 cups jasmine rice

2 cups water

500 g squid, cleaned and sliced into 3 cm rings

1 tbsp sugar

dash white pepper

1 bottle cincalok

1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided

3 eggs, lightly beaten with a splash of water

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 medium red onion, chopped

10 four angle beans, sliced thinly

8 bird’s eye chilies, sliced thinly

salt and sugar to taste


  1. Cook rice with water in a rice cooker. Allow to cool completely and keep chilled overnight. Next day, loosen the grains with a splash of water.
  2. Pat dry squid with kitchen paper towels. Marinate with sugar and pepper for 1 -2 hours.
  3. Using a medium sized, fine mesh sieve, drain all liquid from the cincalok. Rinse very briefly with running water.
  4. Heat some cooking oil in a wok. Scramble beaten eggs till just cooked. Set aside.
  5. Heat more oil. Fry garlic and onion till light brown. Add cincalok and fry over low heat till lightly browned. Transfer to plate. Set aside.
  6. Heat more oil in the same wok till smoky hot. Fry squid and 1/3 of the cincalok mixture till squid is just cooked. Transfer to a plate. Set aside.
  7. In a clean wok, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Fry cooked rice till it absorbs the oil and starts to look semi transparent.
  8. Add remaining fried cincalok mixture, stir fry till well distributed. Add squid and its juices, four angle beans, bird’s eye chilies and eggs. Fry quickly and season to taste with salt and sugar, if needed.
  9. Serve hot.


Besides four angled beans, you can use any crunchy vegetable like long beans, French beans or shredded cabbage.

To loosen up overnight cooked rice before frying it, just splash some water over and gently fluff up with a fork, Ili’s way of course.