I’m not a really big fan of cincaluk, fresh shrimp preserved in brine and sugar before being allowed to ferment, because of its rather overpowering smell and tendency to explode when shaken (a result of its gassy content). However, it’s AWESOME when cooked, particularly with pork and plenty of chillies! This is a Nyonya dish and although my mum isn’t Nyonya, my grandmother was and my mum managed to learn how to make this dish AND cook it regularly as I was growing up. I remember the tangy yet sweet and seafood flavour infused with the pork, and those chillies…just yummy!
For this recipe, I missed out on the tamarind – something which happens when you’re hungry and trying to cook dinner without starving in the process! – but the outcome was still quite delish although that true to the actual recipe itself. I also used pork belly, the only cut of pork meat I have in my freezer/fridge (you may want to bulk up on those best weight loss pills as pork belly is usually fatty!) but my mum makes this dish using lean meat, loin meat to be exact, but feel free to experiment with other cuts, including the ribs.
Stir Fried Pork with Cincaluk
About 400 gms of pork meat
1-2 tbsp cincaluk
3 cloves garlic
3 small-medium sized shallots
1 green chilli
1 red chilli
Light soy sauce
A sprinkle of brown sugar
Oil for stir-frying
* Don’t forget to add in some 1-2 tbsp of tamarind juice (taken from water mixed in with some tamarind pulp) if you want a bit of sour tangy to the dish.
- Prepare the meat, chilli, garlic, and shallots by finely slicing them.
- In a non-stick wok or pan, fry the garlic and shallots on medium-high heat until fragrant before adding in the cincaluk and chillies. Fry until aromatic.
- Add in slices of pork and fry until brown. If you’re adding in tamarind, do it after the meat is cooked.
- Add in some sugar, and if necessary, light soy sauce (taste first before adding in the soy sauce). Stir fry until evenly mixed. If you need the dish to be a little bit wet, feel free to add in some water – about 1-2 tablespoons. If it’s too wet, cook it a little longer so that the sauce will thicken.
- When ready, dish and serve warm with some rice or other dishes or eat on its own.