December 12, 2013

Steamed Salted Sun Dried Fish 蒸南倉鹽鮮魚

Steamed Salted Sun Dried Fish 蒸南倉鹽鮮魚

salted, sun dried, fish, recipe, steamed, 蒸南倉鹽鮮魚
By Published: 2013-12-12
For a long time I have fantasized about making my own dried salted fishes.  (Very sexy, I know!)  My 媽媽 keeps tantalizing me with stories about when my 爸爸 used to make his own dried fishes (which for some reason I can't remember at all).  She always describes my dad's homemade dried salted fishes as incredibly tasty!  All one would need is a simple mesh structure of some sort, with a door that you could latch securely.  Then, bam!: you could have an endless supply of tasty (and cheap!) gourmet adventures in dried foods.  Alas for the one simple, sad fact:  we don't have a garden!  Not even a balcony, not in cramped Hong Kong where real estate is at such a premium.  Just a shoebox sized apartment bursting at the seams already with all of our stuff and a teensy tiny, itty bitty kitchen.  So we were very excited recently when my 老公's mother discovered this Salted Sun Dried Fish at the Aberdeen Fish Market.

chinese salted fish, salted fish, sun dried fish, hong kong local food, 鹽鮮魚

We were excited because this Salted Sun Dried Fish, or 南倉鹽鮮魚,  seemed very much like the kind of fish you would end up with if you made it yourself at home.  This fish was different from the usual dried salted fish, or 鹽魚, you can find all over Hong Kong which are intensely salted and dried to a stiff board (sometimes even heat treated to remove moisture quickly) so that it can be kept for a very, very long time.  You can see them dangling from above in the dried goods store, wrapped in a bit of paper and plastic.  This usual type of salted fish is quite salty and has a chewy and very firm texture to it.   Our Salted Sun Dried Fish is made differently by lightly salting and then sun drying just until the moisture is gone but the flesh is still pliable.  When you press on the flesh you can feel the difference right away.

chinese salted fish, salted fish, sun dried fish, hong kong local food, 鹽鮮魚

So we decided to simply steam these beautiful sun dried fish.  And you know what?  My 媽媽 was right!  It was incredibly tasty!  These little fish, lightly salted and then sun dried for a few days, were a revelation.  The flesh was firm but tender.  The fish flavors were wonderfully intensified by the sun drying and boosted by a sea saltiness, just salty enough to flavor, not too salty.  This was seriously tasty stuff!

chinese salted fish, salted fish, sun dried fish, hong kong local food, 鹽鮮魚

chinese salted fish, salted fish, sun dried fish, hong kong local food, 鹽鮮魚

Hopefully I can start making my own Salted Sun Dried Fish sometime in the near future.  But for the time being we are very much enjoying this new Hong Kong local food discovery, this Salted Sun Dried Fish.  If you have a chance, try it and let us know what you think!

Steamed Salted Sun Dried Fish 蒸南倉鹽鮮魚

Ingredients 

2 Salted Sun Dried Fish
2 slices ginger, sliced to matchsticks
2 slices ginger
2 tbsp spring onion, thinly sliced to rounds
1 1/2 tbsp peanut oil

Directions:
Wash the fish under running water.  Place ginger slices on serving plate, put fish on top.  Scatter the ginger matchsticks evenly over the fish.  Steam for 15 minutes over medium high heat.  Remove from steamer and scatter spring onion evenly over fish.  Heat the peanut oil to smoking and then carefully drizzle over the fish and spring onions.  Be careful of oil splatters when drizzling.  Serve and enjoy!

More on Salted Fish on The Hong Kong Cookery:
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