One day while stopping off at my youngest uncle's house to borrow some tools for my dad, his wife sent me home with several pieces of dried salted fish.
"So you can make salty fish fried rice," my aunt said.
My uncle said it wasn't the "right" kind of salted fish, but my aunt insisted I could still use it to make salty fish fried rice if I wanted to.
So I did.
Actually, it was their oldest son, cousin Q's older brother, who turned me on to salty fish fried rice from Sam Woo BBQ - Alhambra. How come his parents didn't give him any salted fish, my cousin asked. I dunno? But he could come over to my house for some if he wanted. And even though my uncle said it wasn't the "right" kind of salted fish, it tasted good to me!
I'd been on the lookout forever for the "right" kind of salted fish for fried rice and had no idea which to choose from the varied selection at the Asian grocery stores. Too many kinds of salted fish! Anyone have any idea which is the "right" kind? Perhaps I was making it too difficult and should have just taken my aunt's attitude of using any type of salted fish I like.
You don't need much salted fish for this recipe. Salted fish is salty! So I save the soy sauce for drizzling at the end if I decide the rice needs a little more, instead of stirring it into the fried rice while it's cooking. And like Sam Woo, I also paired it with some sauteed lettuce to cut the fishiness factor down a notch.
Com Chien Ca Man (Vietnamese/Chinese Salty Fish Fried Rice)
Inspired by the salty fish fried rice at Sam Woo BBQ - Alhambra.
For 4 to 6 servings, you'll need:
4 oz portion salted fish, skin and bones removed, diced
1 cup frozen peas and carrots or any other vegetables of your choice
2 Romaine or iceberg lettuce leaves, thinly sliced
2 scallions, sliced
1 cup chicken, diced
2 eggs, scrambled
2 cups already cooked day-old rice
Optional: Soy sauce to drizzle over the rice at the end.
This was the salted fish that my aunt gave me. You don't need much because it's salty! Remove the skin and bones and dice about a 4 oz portion. Set aside.
You'll also need about a cup of frozen vegetables. I had peas and carrots left over from making Banh Pa Te So (Vietnamese Pate Chaud (French Hot Pastry Pie)). Slice 2 scallions and 2 Romaine lettuce leaves. Set aside.
I had some leftover soy sauce chicken, but raw chicken is fine too. Dice 1 boneless chicken thigh or breast, about 1 cup. Scramble 2 eggs using my Scrambled Egg Omelet recipe if you wish. Set aside.
Salted fish is super smelly when it's cooked. I love my new Saber Grill, because now I can cook outside and keep the smells out of my house.
The sideburner has 10,000 BTUs. I also like how it's shaped like a burner, with an indentation in the middle for my wok.
On medium-high heat, drizzle a bit of oil in the wok and saute the salted fish. Oooheee! The smell was crazy strong. The fish will turn translucent, but that's OK.
Then add in the chicken. Mine was already cooked; if you're using raw chicken, just make sure it's completely cooked before you add in the other ingredients.
Toss in all the vegetables.
When the frozen vegetables have defrosted and the lettuce is just wilted, add the cold day-old rice.
Mix it all up a bit and then add the scrambled eggs.
Break up the eggs into smaller pieces and keep stirring.
The fried rice should be done when the ingredients are all cooked and evenly mixed.
Plate and serve. The salted fish makes the fried rice pretty salty already, but if you want a bit more, then drizzle soy sauce on top.
My other fried rice recipes:
Com Chien Toi Trung (Vietnamese Garlic Fried Rice with Eggs)
Com Do Ca Chua (Vietnamese Tomato Paste Red Rice)
Fried Rice with Apples and Cubed Beef
Fried Rice with Bacon, Corn, Eggs, and Green Onions
Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage, Eggs, and Lettuce
Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage, Mixed Frozen Vegetables, and Eggs
Fried Rice with Hot Dogs, Eggs, and Ketchup
Fried Rice with Kimchee and Spam
Fried Rice with Pineapples, Spam, and Shrimp
Fried Rice with Pork, Corn, and a Ladle of Ramen Broth
Fried Rice Yang Chow-Style
1 year ago today,
2 years ago today, Shishito Peppers with Chinese XO Sauce.
3 years ago today, Dau Hu Sot Ca Chua (Vietnamese Fried Tofu with Tomato Sauce).
4 years ago today, Bridal Veil Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon.
5 years ago today, Mang Cau (Vietnamese Cherimoya).
6 years ago today, a bounty of avocados resulted in Guacamole.