Classic Chinese Comfort Food – Anchovies Onion (古早味江鱼仔炒大葱)

Classic Chinese Comfort Food - Anchovies Onion (古早味江鱼仔炒大葱)

INTRODUCTION

When I was a kid, my daily breakfast was rice porridge without fail. I had this porridge breakfast until the day I left my house for university in Kuala Lumpur. No cakes, no breads or even steamed buns like bao. Deep fried banana fritters (pisang goreng) was an occasional treat.

Classic Chinese Comfort Food - Anchovies Onion (古早味江鱼仔炒大葱)

In fact, even though I am not Teochew but a Zhaoan (Chawan), i loved porridges. I never have any complaint of eating porridge. Breakfast porridge set are very simple and usually is a one dish meal. When there are leftover meat or fish the night before, it would be recooked by my late mum and churn into another dish. If we were not satisfied with it, we would just drizzle with dark soya sauce and have a few peanuts. Red fermented bean curd or nam yu or even canned lettuces are common items to go with breakfast porridges.

Classic Chinese Comfort Food - Anchovies Onion (古早味江鱼仔炒大葱)

Occasionally, fresh dishes were cooked to go with porridge. Rest be assured there will be no fresh meat dishes but very humble dishes mostly using eggs. One of them is the Chinese ah ma heritage dish onion omelette that i have already shared in this post: Classic Chinese Comfort Food– Onion Omelette (洋葱炒蛋)

Classic Chinese Comfort Food - Anchovies Onion (古早味江鱼仔炒大葱)

Another dish is this dish that I am going to share : Anchovies onion. This dish was prepared during breakfast because both anchovies and onions are dried goods that are always stocked in the kitchen. Of course the dish is fast and it definitely goes well with porridges rather than white rice.

Classic Chinese Comfort Food - Anchovies Onion (古早味江鱼仔炒大葱)

I have totally forgotten about this dish until my wife told me she craved for this dish. She is the one who asked me to blog this humble dish. She told me her aunties always prepared this “black” coloured dish and cooked the anchovies until very soft. We have a slight disagreement and I told her since I have never eaten her version, I can’t visualize what she is talking about.

Classic Chinese Comfort Food - Anchovies Onion (古早味江鱼仔炒大葱)

Anchovies are already salty and why dark soya sauce are added? Is it not anchovies are attractive because they are crispy? Why theirs’ version is mushy? I told her I will cook my mum’s version and let her try.. After trying, she still insisted her black colour soft version taste better. I have done my best and i told she shall prepare this dish for the family in our next attempt and let me tried her version.

Classic Chinese Comfort Food - Anchovies Onion (古早味江鱼仔炒大葱)

What I am trying to share with readers is this is a common dish. Every Chinese granny may have their very own version and what I am sharing is my own version. I knew some families put fermented black soya beans (豆豉) and but this was never used in my family. Therefore,  feel free to adjust to one that your are familiar and this recipe shall be used as a reference or starting point.

Classic Chinese Comfort Food - Anchovies Onion (古早味江鱼仔炒大葱)


WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 3-4 adult servings

Classic Chinese Comfort Food - Anchovies Onion (古早味江鱼仔炒大葱)

  • 100 grams of dried anchovies
  • 2 onion
  • 1 red chilli
  • Dashes of white pepper
  • Sugar to taste


STEPS OF PREPARATION

Classic Chinese Comfort Food - Anchovies Onion (古早味江鱼仔炒大葱)

  • Slice the onion thinly and rinse the ikan billis to get rid of dirt. You can omit this step if you are confident about the cleanliness of the anchovies. For the anchovies, you can buy the already cleaned anchovies halves or you can buy the whole fish (which is much cheaper), tear off the head and deboned yourself.

  • In a pot, heat up some cooking oil, stir fry the anchovies until golden brown and crispy using medium heat. Before dishing out, increase to high heat and deep fry for one minute to force out all trapped oil. Drain and set aside.

  • Keep 1-2 tablespoons of oil, sauté the onion and red chilli until aromatic and the onion is soft, add the deep fried anchovies and give it a quick stir. Add the dashes of white pepper, pinches of sugar stir until well mixed. Off the heat and the dish is ready to be served with piping hot porridges.

Classic Chinese Comfort Food - Anchovies Onion (古早味江鱼仔炒大葱)


CONCLUSION

Again, I need to blog this for records. It is because of the ultra simplicity of this dish that I think the dish worth capturing. It is also a way to appreciate what Chinese grannies had prepared that contributing to what we are today. Nobody shall looked down at such humble dish and it is definitely overboard to classify such dish as “Chinese heritage dishes”.

Classic Chinese Comfort Food - Anchovies Onion (古早味江鱼仔炒大葱)

Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have nice day. Should there be any imperfections in my blog layout, bear with me and I am trying hard to rectify it. In the event that you are a follower of Guaishushu at http://kwgls.wordpress.com, please do follow this new blog Guaishushu1 at http://www.guaishushu1.com.

Classic Chinese Comfort Food - Anchovies Onion (古早味江鱼仔炒大葱)


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Classic Chinese Comfort Food - Anchovies Onion (古早味江鱼仔炒大葱)

Classic Chinese Comfort Food - Anchovies Onion (古早味江鱼仔炒大葱)

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Classic Chinese Comfort Food - Anchovies Onion (古早味江鱼仔炒大葱)

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Classic Chinese Comfort Food - Anchovies Onion (古早味江鱼仔炒大葱)

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