Dried Salted Fish

Ingredient Name: Dried Salted Fish

Traditional Chinese Name: 鹽魚 (yán yú) in Cantonese

What is this?
  • A dried fish that is preserved in salt (carried down from many centuries of tradition and food preparation)
  • It is a fish that is treated with a salt solution or dry salt and then left in the sun to dry
  • Chinese-styled dried fish is usually softened by partial decomposition before or during salting
  • The fish comes available as you see it (see above picture) or in western super markets, is prepackaged
  • Salted dried fish is commonly used in many Chinese dishes and stews
  • It actually tastes very salty and the texture is quite dense, but not too hard

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water before soup usage
  • Cut off required portion only (as it is really quite salty) – usually a quarter is sufficient

Where can I buy this?

  • Commonly available in all wet marts in Asia (Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and South East Asian countries)
  • You can even purchase this in some western supermarkets that stock Asian food

What is the cost?

  • This is not an expensive ingredient and the price varies depending on size and packaging

Any benefits?

  • Adds a lot of extra salt “punch” without adding other additives
  • Minimal preparation is needed
  • Low in fats

Any precautions?

  • This type of dried salted food is extremely high in salt content and consumption should be moderated
  • Some types of Chinese salted dried fish are high in carcinogenics (cancer causing agents)
  • I would take extra caution with serving this to children if possible (once in a blue moon is OK, but why take the risk?)

Additional Information

  • Store in a dry and cool place in a tightly sealed container
  • Can store in the fridge for up to 3 months