Salted Fish Fried Rice

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Where has the time gone to? (I ask that question a lot in my life. :D) A couple of weeks ago, we bought 4 yards of mulch (basically a HUGE mound) for our flower/herb gardens and Keith and I have been weeding and mulching every chance we have and we’re still not done. Aaargh…I almost, almost wish we have grass only in our yard but I know that when the flowers are in full bloom and the butterflies stop by for a visit, when we relax and dine in our lush, fragrant yard on a warm summer evening, amidst the glowing light of fireflies…it would all be worth it (I can be kinda poetic on occasions *grin*). Thankfully, the weather has been seasonable (translated: not too hot) and we’ve managed to make quite a dent on that huge mound. Hopefully, in another week or two, we will finally be done.

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Now, on to food – salted fish fried rice is one of my favorite dishes but unfortunately, I rarely make it because of how “fragrant” the salted fish is. I swear flies from two blocks away could smell the fish (when they are being cooked) and find their way into the house thorugh holes/spaces you don’t even know exist. Because of this, I save the making of this dish until the dead of winter, where there is not a single bug outside, lol. Although winter is over (I think), I took the opportunity to cook this dish recently when we had a short cold spell, and the temp dipped into the 30s. It does take a little effort to prep the salted fish but all that effort will pay off times 20. The resulting fried rice is salty, savory, and super-delicious, so much so that Keith and I finished all of it in one sitting (boy, were we piggies). Now, we’ll just have to comfort ourselves with the memory of it until next time. Enjoy!

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To prep the salted fish:
¼ vegetable oil
1 (350g) container salted mackerel in oil

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add mackerel (discard oil in the container) and fry until cooked, gently flipping the fish halfway through. Some pieces of fish may fall apart as they cook…that’s okay (just handle the fish as gently as you can). Once fish are cooked, remove to a plate. Do not discard cooking oil – set aside until needed. Cool fish and then, crumble into tiny pieces, discarding bones.

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To make the fried rice:
3 tablespoons salted fish oil (from cooking the fish in the previous step)
1 large shallot, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced or sliced thin
2 extra-large eggs
5 cups cooked and cooled jasmine rice, large clumps broken up
½ cup frozen peas
2 cups bean sprouts
½ cup crumbled salted fish
1½ tablespoons light soy sauce
⅓ cup finely chopped fresh chives

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or pot (occasionally, I use a dutch oven but note that the rice will stick to the bottom of the dutch oven) over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add shallot and garlic, and cook until fragrant and lightly browned. Push the shallot and garlic slightly to the side, add the eggs and cook, stirring constantly until the eggs are almost fully scrambled. Stir in the rice, peas, bean sprouts, salted fish and soy sauce, stirring constantly until everything is heated through. Turn off the heat and stir in the chives. Serve.

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2 Replies to “Salted Fish Fried Rice”

  1. Welcome back, Chris! Kiam hu char peng, my kind of platter :-) I’m not surprised you and Keith finished it all in one sitting. I’m sure it was yummy ! I’m not as bold as you to use salted fish in my kitchen yet…. maybe one day :-) I have used belacan which I got from my Mum when she came to visit us. The small bottle of roasted powdered belacan is like a priced diamond in my kitchen pantry. LOL! Hope you had a good break, or rather, will have one soon? I’m so out with time :-(


    1. Hi Isadora,

      The “fragrance” wasn’t as bad as I expected…it dissipated within a couple of days, or maybe it was simply that we got used to the smell, lol. I haven’t eaten belacan in a while. It can get pretty “fragrant” too…but maybe not as bad as the salted fish I guess. Still, I wouldn’t use belacan in the summer either…not when the flies are around. :D We hope to have a break soon…how about you?

      Have a great weekend!

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