Saturday, February 29, 2020


Nearly everything tastes better with bacon. Or salt fish. And chilipaste. This is almost a way of life as well as a strongly held personal philosophy. To me one of the dishes that exemplifies it is salt fish and chicken fried rice, with dollops of hot sauce (sambal), a deeply satisfying dish that so far I have not been asked to share with anyone.

Most of my friends are wussies who eat suburban food. My apartment mate is not an aficionado of stronger flavours. And I have no girlfriend to scare.

['haam yü gai naap chaau faan']

For two people (stop laughing) you will need between a quarter of a pound and a half pound of small chunked chicken, marinated in a little corn starch and rice wine. Plus nearly four ounces of a moister softer salt fish than the plank fish (柴魚 'chai yü') used for jook (柴魚花生粥 'chai yü faa saang juk'), or the dried flounder (左口魚 'jo hau yu') in your won ton soup. Plus some shredded lettuce and chopped random green vegetable as desired, for both colour and a fresh flavour. A little minced ginger, chopped scallions, and an egg. And two to three cups of cooked rice, at room temperature.

Break the rice apart so it doesn't clump, cut the salt fish into small pieces, and whisk the egg.

Stir-fry the random green vegetable first, decant, leaving the hot oil in the pan. Stir-fry the salt fish till golden, decant. Add the chicken to the hot oil, quickly stir about to cook, then add the rice and minced ginger. When the rice is heated through push it to one side, dump the whisked egg into the clear space, and when it is softly set, break it into the rice, add the fish, vegetables, and lettuce, stir, add the scallion and mix in. Serve.

Personally I like a little crustiness to the finished rice, and tend towards the use of mustard green as a default vegetable.

Bacon and Sriracha are personal choices here, and not surprisingly dried fish is also a splendid addition to dishes with fatty pork chunks or assertive vegetables. Stir-fried gai lan with salt fish is delicious.

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