If you’re looking for a twist on the classic Salted Fish Fried Rice, try this Anchovy Fried Rice recipe – it’s a simplified version that packs a flavorful punch!
Although we greatly appreciate this dish, we sometimes have trouble locating the appropriate salted fish. We’ve recently learned that canned Italian anchovies in oil make a fantastic stand-in for the traditional Cantonese condiment known as haam yee (fermented salted fish).
An everyday store ingredient is all you need for this recipe to achieve that comfortingly familiar flavor.
The idea of frying rice with anchovies is not novel. The dried anchovies in Indonesian nasi goreng teri are a throwback to the fried rice Chinese immigrants introduced. My mother’s stir-fry of dried anchovies and roasted peanuts, served alongside our morning porridge, was another childhood favorite.
Although anchovies have long been a staple of fried rice, we’re not talking about the little dried anchovies that are popular across Asia. Anchovies in olive oil, a pantry staple in Italy, are used in this rendition.
Anchovies are a fantastic stand-in for Cantonese-style salt-cured fish due to their incredibly deep umami.
What is Chinese Salted Fish?
My grandfather always has a good time when we make his favorite dish from his childhood, which is Cantonese fermented and salt-cured fish.
I know it doesn’t exactly inspire trust. Continue reading!
Without experiencing it for yourself, it’s difficult to describe that musty taste. It’s a taste that evokes both familiarity and the culinary creativity of countless generations.
I really enjoy the musty flavor that comes through in canned bamboo shoots and preserved chili bamboo shoots.
Dry-aged beef has a similar taste characteristic. Why would you leave a steak in a cold cellar where it will eventually become moldy? This is why you’re also interested in eating a fermented piece of salted fish.
Typically croakers, a mild white fish, are salted and dried for this Guangdong Province (Cantonese cuisine) specialty. Drying the fish causes it to ferment, giving it a flavor reminiscent of belacan, a paste made from fermented shrimp, as well as anchovies. The item is then packaged and sold as is. You can use a few pieces to enhance the flavor of a pot of fried rice or a bowl of ground pork.
When cooked with ginger, rice, and a hot wok, the pink anchovy filets in olive oil have an earthy, pungent flavor eerily similar to Cantonese hom yee.
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast (diced)
- 4 ounces of anchovy filets in oil (or to taste)
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 slices of ginger (5cm long, 1/8 inch thick)
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 scallion chopped
- 5 cups of cooked rice (jasmine)
- 3 1/2 cups of chopped iceberg or romaine lettuce or 3/4 cup of frozen peas
- 1/4 cup neutral oil divided
- 2 tablespoons of clear rice wine
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 2 tablespoons of anchovy oil (optional)
- 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon of oyster sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- Prepare a marinade by combining 1 tablespoon of clear rice wine, cornstarch, water, and salt in a bowl. Using your hands, massage the chicken to help it absorb the marinade.
- Eggs, ginger, onion, lettuce or peas, and scallions must be prepared. Before turning on the flame, ensure you have everything you need close.
- Prepare a smoking wok by heating it over high heat. Put in 1 tbsp of oil. Just throw in some eggs and immediately scramble them with your wok spatula. To achieve the desired texture, cook until they are 80% done but still a little runny. Put it all back in the bowl and put it away for later.
- A spoonful of oil and the chicken should be added to a hot wok. Prepare chicken in a stir-fry until it reaches an opaque state. Take out the frying pan. The meal will require more cooking time.
- Tend to it so that it is only medium hot. Put in the wok the extra two teaspoons of oil. The ginger should be cooked for about 30 seconds.
- Spoon in the rice and use a spatula to break up any clumps with the wok. Warm it up by stirring it.
- In the middle of the rice, dig a hole. Turn down the temperature to medium. Spatula-break the anchovies into smaller pieces and add them to the pan; let them heat for 30-60 seconds. The anchovies should be evenly dispersed throughout the rice, so stir to mix.
- Add the anchovy oil if you want a stronger anchovies taste.
- Sprinkle in the onion, mix well, and then spread out into a single layer. Mix in the oyster sauce and the remaining 1 tablespoon of rice wine. Throw in some lettuce or peas and stir-fry them until they’re wilted or heated through. Fry the chicken and add it to the pan.
- The next step is to add the eggs and stir them in so that they are evenly distributed throughout the rice. Finish by mixing in the scallions, then dish up.