May 4, 2019

Salt Cured Fish and Chicken Fried Rice 鹹魚雞粒炒飯

Some love the smell, some just treats it like Taiwanese stinky tofu or durian, they run away from it as far as they can. I'm talking about salt cured fish here. It's pungent and high in umami, the result of all the flavors condensed and concentrated over time.

Salt cured fish and chicken fried rice -

Ingredients (about 6 to 8 portions)?

  • 3 1/2 rice cups short grain rice
  • 1 to 1 1/3 cups prepped salt cured fish
  • 2 eggs
  • 7 to 8 Romaine lettuce
  • 350 grams chicken tenders
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 red chili (optional)
  • Some olive oil
  • Small pinch of black pepper
  • Some white pepper powder (optional)
  • Some grated bottarga (optional)


I got this piece of salt cured fish from a local traditional market specialized in southern and northern Chinese ingredients. All sorts of cured meat and not so common seasonings can be found at such place. You can try to source it at your local Chinese market, or seek help from a Cantonese restaurant, since salt cured fish and chicken fried rice is often one of the popular dishes there.

Drizzle just a tiny bit of olive oil to a non-stick pan and turn to medium heat. Sear the salted fish as a whole, slowly and flip to the other side once a while. Sear till browned but not burnt.

Let it cool off first, then tear into smaller pieces by hand, also remove any fish bones while doing so. This can be done ahead of time, just store prepped fish pieces in the freezer.

Cook the rice first, use less water than usual, or simply store it in the fridge over night to draw out some moisture. 

Peel and dice the onion. Destem the scallion and chop into smaller pieces, separate the white and green parts. Destem and finely chop the red chili if using. Remove tendons from chicken tenders, then cut the meat into smaller pieces. Also cut the lettuce into smaller pieces.

Beat the eggs along with tiny pinch of salt.

Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a wok and turn to medium high heat. Once warmed up, pour in beaten egg, sear while using a spatula to break the eggs into small pieces at the same time. Do not wait till the eggs get browned, simply scoop the eggs out soon after broken into smaller pieces.

Use the same wok, drizzle 1 to 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and turn to high heat. Add in diced onion along with white section of the scallion, chopped red chili, and small pinch of black pepper.

Sear till the onion turns translucent then add in chicken tender pieces, cook for about 1 more minute.

Transfer prepped salt cured fish over along with some sugar, cook for another 30 seconds or so.

Add the cooked rice in two batches. Mix the first batch of rice with all the ingredients before adding the second batch. Mix till no plain rice chunks remain.

Add prepped egg into the mixture and lettuce goes in last. Sprinkle some white pepper powder if preferred.

Taste and adjust the flavors. Notice that no salt was used in this recipe since the cured fish can be very salty already. If unsure, it's also wise to use less cured fish in the beginning. If not salty enough, just blend in more cured fish later on. Better safe than sorry.

Plate the fried rice and garnish with green section of the scallion.

To make it even better, the chicken can be lightly marinated or fried in oil first for extra flavor and softer texture. But for a family meal, let go such hassles, keep it simple, as long as there's good quality salt cured fish, this fried rice is still da bomb.

Not sure in a smelly way or mouth drooling way though.

Other fried rice recipes:

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