Kalcag Rice

Kalcag Rice or Calcag Rice is an Ilonggo style of fried rice stir fried with Kalkag (lightly salted tiny dried shrimps) and garlic

Kalcag or Calcag are lightly salted tiny dried shrimps that you can buy in Asian groceries, it’s used in Southeast Asian cuisines as garnishing or as a means to add flavour to the dish. In the Philippines they are popular in Iloilo, where it is also used in many ways. I haven’t heard of ingredient until I came here in New Zealand where my uncle used it on one of these stir-fried dishes, since then I use them once in a while on dishes where it can be used.

I had a bag sitting on my cupboard and I usually grind them make powder, just like how my Uncle do it. I then use it like natural stock cubes, it gives so much flavour and intensifies the taste of many dishes, similar to how the Japanese use the shaved bonito flakes on dashi stock. Since then I always pulverize them up until know where I will use it as a while and try mixing them on fried rice. I checked online if there was such a thing and found out this Kalcag rice sold in a restaurant called Ding Shifu Master’s Kitchen, no recipes at all but with the photos I had seen, it was quite easy to recreate, and here I how I did it.

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Kalcag Rice

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Kalcag Rice or Calcag Rice is an Ilonggo style of fried rice stir fried with Kalkag (lightly salted tiny dried shrimps) and garlic


  • 4 cups leftover white rice
  • 1/2 cup kalcag
  • 2 stalks spring onions, chopped
  • 6–8 cloves garlic, pounded using mortar and pestle
  • oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Using your hands try to separate cooked rice into individual grains rather than big chunks, this will make your stir frying easy.
  2. Place a large wok in high heat, add enough oil to lightly cover the surface of your wok.
  3. If the wok starts smoking, lower the heat then add the garlic and fry until it turns golden brown.
  4. Add kalcag then stir fry for 2 minutes or until kalcag turns brown and becomes crispy
  5. Add the rice then continuously stir fry for 10 minutes.
  6. Place the chopped spring onions, give it a good mix.
  7. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then serve.


8 Responses

  1. Looks so moreish! I love the dried shrimp.

  2. Katerina says:

    I love me some dried shrimp! This fried rice looks amazing, Raymund, thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Such a great use of those dried shimp! It would be amazing with some XO sauce too! Looks delicious, Raymond 🙂

  4. suituapui says:

    I often fry my rice like this too, with dried shrimp. Nice!

  5. sherry says:

    this sounds delicious raymund. i love stir fried rice, and i love the sound of the dried shrimp. Yum!

  6. Dried shrimp? Interesting! I can’t say I’ve seen that around here, but I bet I can find some at the Asian markets. We do love fried rice in our house, and this sounds like a really tasty version!

    • Raymund says:

      Indeed this is tasty, in fact it has too much flavour so for beginners I suggest to reduce the amount of dried shrimps so it wont be a shock to your taste buds 🙂

  7. I am now kicking myself for tossing some dried shrimp I had in the cupboard – they were there for at least 10 years and I just was too nervous to use them. But definitely want to get some next time I am at the Asian grocer – this looks amazing!

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