I love salted fish. It is pungent and it is really you-love-it-or-you-don’t kinda food ingredients. It is also considered as the poor man’s dish. Back in the days, people with not much money can only afford seafood this way. With only a small piece, a whole family could down their meals satisfactorily. We have some really good home-cooked meals with these salted fish. When shop for salted fish, look for the clean looking piece. Thick and clean would be what I would go for. Also get the one that doesn’t smell too bad. One of the best dishes to cook salted fish with is bean sprouts stir-fry. Easy and quick.

Prep the ingredients, fresh bean sprouts, slices of chili, salted fish and minced garlic. I have the pet peeve of eating bean sprouts with the tails on. I have to get rid of them. I just have to.

Deep-fry salted fish in hot oil for 3-4 minutes.

Fry until golden brown. Remove from wok and drain on paper towel.

Shred the salted fish into small pieces. Set aside.

Heat some oil on a wok and stir-fry garlic till fragrant over high heat.

Toss in salted fish and quickly stir-fry.

Add bean sprouts and chili. Toss for about a minute or two.

Season with salt, pepper and sugar. Add hot water into the wok.

Stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Remove from wok and serve warm with steamed rice.

Bean Sprouts and Salted Fish Stir Fry

Makes 4 servings


1 garlic, minced
200 g bean sprouts
1 red chili, sliced diagonally
40 g salted fish, deep-fried till golden and break into smaller pieces
2 tbsp oil, for stir-frying
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
150 ml boiling water
More oil for deep-frying salted fish


Heat oil in a wok. Stir fry garlic quickly till fragrant over high heat.
Toss in salted fish pieces. Cook for another minute.
Add bean sprouts and chili. Stir fry for one more minute.
Season with salt, pepper and sugar.
Pour hot water into the wok and lower heat.
Stir-fry quickly, less than a minute.
Remove from heat and serve warm.