September 12, 2013

Pan Fried Pork Patty with Salted Fish 煎鹹魚豬肉餅

chinese, pan fried, pork, pork patty, salted fish, recipe, 煎, 鹹魚, 豬肉餅
Some foods just can't help looking kinda 'meh'.  And you feel sorry for these poor foods...but still try your darnedest to avoid having to eat them.  And then BAM-BOOM, somehow you're forced to take a can't avoid the confrontation...and then it's like what the hey?!  You can't seem to stop eating and eating and eating...!

Well, I had a case like that the other day at a local little Chinese restaurant.  My 老公 ordered a house specialty of pork patties over rice.  When his dinner arrived, a humble looking plate of rice piled carelessly with four meager looking patties, I snickered up my sleeve and politely refused a taste.
Curiosity soon got the better of me as my 老公 was digging in so eagerly and I had to have just a little taste.  Five minutes later to my embarrassment I had eaten most of his dinner and had to sheepishly offer mine in exchange.  My god but those little pork patties were delicious!  And just the thing to go with lots of steamed rice! make up for my shameless hogging of all those delicious pork patties, I offered to attempt to recreate those same Pan Fried Pork Patty with Salted Fish at home.

chinese, pan fried, pork, pork patty, salted fish, recipe, 煎, 鹹魚, 豬肉餅

You will need to locate this amazing Tai O Salted Fish Sauce 大澳老友記鹹魚醬.  It is made by a local Hong Kong company called Lo Yau Kee Tai O, or translated as "Old Friend Tai O".  It's made in Hong Kong!  Or more precisely in Tai O, or 大澳, which is probably the most picturesque corner of Hong Kong, a little fishing village where all the fishermen's houses are still built on stilts over the water.  

We have tried the Lo Yau Kee Shrimp Paste by making Steamed Shrimp Paste Squid and this Salted Fish Sauce.  Both condiments are very tasty and even better, have no preservatives nor artificial flavors.   Check out the Lo Yau Kee website to find out where in Hong Kong to buy their stuff.  There's actually a lot of great local food stuffs around but you have to dig for them as I think they get snubbed by the super grocery chains.

Tai O, Hong Kong
chinese, pan fried, pork, pork patty, salted fish, recipe, 煎, 鹹魚, 豬肉餅
Inside Lo Yau Kee Salted Fish Sauce Bottle

Just to remind you these are seriously tasty little pork patties so remember to prepare a lot of steamed rice for you and your family to dig into!
Pan Fried Pork Patty with Salted Fish煎鹹魚豬肉餅
(Prep time: 15 mins  Cook time: 7 mins)


  • 1/2 lb ground pork (not too lean)
  • 2 tsp shao hsing rice wine
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp peanut oil
  • 1-3 tbsp salted fish sauce 鹹魚醬 (as different brands may differ in salt level, pls. adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped


Mix the pork with wine, soy sauce, salt, sugar, sesame and peanut oil, stirring in one direction only.  Let marinate for 10-15 minutes.  

Slowly add water to the pork, stirring in one direction only, until the mixture in almost pourable (paste-like) but still firm enough to hold a shape.  This may require more and less than 1/2 cup water and you will need to stir vigorously for a couple of minutes.  Add cornstarch to lock in moisture, again stirring in one direction only.  Add salted fish sauce and stir, again in the same direction.

Heat a deep sided frying pan or wok (the oil will splatter a bit) to medium heat.  Add 1 tbsp oil.  If making patties, quickly form meat patties with hands and place carefully into pan, pressing down with a spatula immediately to flatten.  If making one large patty quickly slide the meat into your pan and press to flatten with spatula.  Be careful of oil splatters.  Cook until golden brown and then flip over, cooking another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove at once.  Serve in bed of chopped cilantro with lots of steamed rice.



  1. We tried this recipe but had some trouble. First, the written directions don't explain when to add the fish sauce. Secondly, we found it impossible to form patties when we made the pork mixture "almost pourable." We just ended up cooking it as loose ground meat and doing something else with it. Maybe I missed something...

    1. Hi Jackie - Thanks for the catch about the salted fish sauce! We've amended the recipe already. Regarding your question, maybe you can use less water if you're having trouble forming the patties. The other thing that is important when making pork like this is stirring in one direction only until the meat becomes paste like and not like the original loose ground meat. You may have to stir for a couple of minutes at least! Hope this helps. ~ellen

  2. Tks for the recipe, Ellen! Are we able to store this patties (and for how long) in freezer if we do in bulk? ;)

  3. Hey PriNcEsS MoOniE - Fry the patties up, cool completely and freeze right away. Will keep up to 2-3 months. ~ellen

  4. This recipe is way over salted 3 tablespoons of fish sauce is too much. It was inedible and I followed the recipe precisely. Recommend to reduce to one tablespoon or even 2 teaspoons like the soy sauce.

  5. Thanks for letting me know. I'm thinking what happened was probably due to the difference of the brand of the salted fish sauce used. We used 3 tbsp and it was just fine. Different brands will have different levels of salt intensity so please all be aware and test your salted fish sauce first and adjust the amount used in this recipe according to salt intensity of the brand you are using. ~ellen