Budu and Cincalok

Budu (Malay language) is a fish sauce and one of the best known fermented seafood products in Kelantan, Malaysia as well as Southern Thailand.


It is traditionally made by mixing anchovy and salt in the range of ratio of 2:1 to 6:1 and allow to ferment for 140 to 200 days. It is used as a flavoring and is normally taken with fish, rice and raw vegetables.

It is similar to the patis in Philippines, ketjap-ikan in Indonesia, ngapi in Burma, nuoc mam in Vietnam, ishiru or shottsuru in Japan, colombo-cure in India and Pakistan, yeesu in China and aekjeot in Korea.

The fish product is the result of hydrolysis of fish and microbial proteases. The flavor and aroma of Budu are produced by the action of proteolytic microorganisms surviving during the fermentation process. Palm sugar and tamarind are usually added to promote the browning reaction occur and resulting in dark brown color. The ratio of fish to salt plays an important key in the final desired product. The different concentration of salt influences the microbial and enzymatic activity, resulting in different flavors. The microorganisms found during Budu production are generally classified as halophilic.[1] The microorganisms play important roles in protein degradation and flavor-aroma development.

It is a traditional condiment in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, particularly in the state of Kelantan. Even ethnic Chinese in Kelantan are involved in Budu production.[2] It is high in protein and uric acid content, thus not recommended for people with gout condition.

New product Budu Super Tengik range have been developed, mainly in powdered forms. It is under development by Politeknik Kota Bharu (PKB) student.[3]

Budu which was made from anchovy sauce have shown potensial as anti-cancer.


Cincalok (or Chinchalok/Cencaluk) is a Malaccan food (see Cuisine of Malaysia) made of fermented small shrimps or krill. It is usually served as a condiment together with chillis, shallots and lime juice. It is similar to Bagoong Alamang (see shrimp paste) in the Philippines.

In Melaka, the shrimp is called udang geragau. The shrimp in the pinkish coloured cincalok are readily identifiable and the taste is salty. This shrimp is available in particular season in Pantai Klebang, Limbongan, Tanjung Kling and several coastal areas.

The process of making cincalok requires several steps to create a product of high quality with a pleasing texture when consumed. Fresh small prawns (udang geragau) are added with salt and rice in equal proportions. After the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, it will be sealed in a jar and allowed to ferment for three days. There are also cincalok makers who increase the proportion of rice in the mixture believing it to enhance the taste of the finished product.

Cencaluk, the Traditional Food

Few weeks ago, my neighbour gave us one container of this local food called 'cencaluk'. I am actually quite fond of this sour+spicy+sweet taste of food. The taste of it actually depends on how you mix the ingredients together.

From wikepedia, this food is a traditional food in Malacca. It is made of small prawn that we called 'udang geragau'. I don't know what is the prawn called in English. *wink* For those who is looking for protein diet food, you can include this food into your diet plan.

How to make 'cencaluk'? Well, wikipedia has it all.....

For me, I would usually eat 'cencaluk' my way. The already make 'cencaluk' will mixed with red onions, chillie and lime. Then, eat it will cucumber. Yummy!!

If you are new comers here, don't miss this out! This is one of my favourite food. I can eat this with rice and there's no need for other dish. Hehehehe.....


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