At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Sunday, April 03, 2016


This blogger was beguiled by three plum-fragrance salt fish that winked at him from an open shop front in Chinatown. I bought them on a whim. Because, you see, this goes very well with plum head minced pork.


鹹魚 ('haam yü') is salty, briny, and slightly pungent; the fish is partially fermented, hence the term 'plum fragrance', which denotes their more aromatic quality. This particular type is 白花魚 ('baak faa yü'), which is not cheap, but not particularly expensive either. Plum fragrance salt fish (梅香鹹魚 'mui heung haam yü') are what you need for steamed pork patty with salt fish (鹹魚蒸肉餅 'haam yü jing yiuk beng'), which is darn good eating.

You will need about three slices of salt fish in total for a slightly less than quarter to up to a half pound of meat, depending on your greed. Slice the fish thin if you're hesitant, thick if you're bolder or a Dutchman.

[Fermented salt fish keeps for a long time. One will yield enough for three to eight steamed pork patties. And I have three fish (三條鹹魚 'saam tiu haam yü').]

You should rinse the fish pieces before use, and you may even soak them for a while to remove excess salt. Pat the meat flat on a lightly greased dish, arrange the pieces of dried fish on top, strew some shredded fresh ginger over, and steam until done, ten or twenty minutes depending on the thickness.

Sorry, this is as precise as this recipe gets.
Once you've done it, you know how.

You can also incorporate dried fish into chicken fried rice, yielding 鹹魚雞粒炒飯 ('haam yü kai nap chaau faan'), which is delicious. Many restaurants that cater to Cantonese people have it on the menu.

It's also great in soup with tofu chunks, as a vegetarian option. You will need the dried fish heads particularly for this dish: 鹹魚頭豆腐湯 ('haam yü tau daufu tong').

Oh wait, that's not vegetarian anymore. Sorry.

Vegheads should omit salt fish.

No taste is good!


Plum head minced pork (梅頭豬肉碎 'mui tau chü yiuk seui') is a bit more expensive that regular ground pork, and it would be idiotic to use lean minced pork (瘦豬肉碎 'sau chü yiuk seui'), as it is the fat in the meat that makes it flavourful and juicy. That lean stuff is probably best for jook anyhow. Plum head is the Cantonese butcher's term for pork shoulder, what is often called Boston Butt here, and used for carnitas, which makes a superior burrito.

Vegetarians may substitute tofu for the meat, and pickled or fermented tofu for the dried fish. I cannot attest to the results, but then I'll probably die sooner than you guys anyway.
What with not being a sanctimonious eater.
Quite the carnivore.

Mmmm, pork.

Please note: the main reason to write this, other than taunting people with no taste who intend to live past a hundred, was to feature the 'u' with an umlaut. I really like the umlaut 'u'. The 'ü' used several times above ("chü", "yü") is the 'ü' in Volapük.

Mmmm, svinamit.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


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