The whole point of salting fish as a preserving method to the Thais goes back way before refrigeration and that is why slated fish is so deeply rooted in the Thai cuisine.
The salting process produces a new ingredient that is different and equally good to the original. The method is simple, the clean fresh fishes are rubbed with plenty of salt and let to dry in the sun.
Best quality fish is the sole factor of a great final product. That is why I was so excited the other day to find at the market a rare offering of salted queenfish (ปลาสละเค็ม ; bplaa sala khem). These fast predators are not commercially fished. Praised for their superb quality meat this game fish offers a challenge to catch both to the fisherman and the foodie alike.
Check out your local Asian markets for other types of salted fish, they all work well for this simple to prepare dish, you may need to adjust the seasoning according to the saltiness of the fish you find.
Stir-Fried Brussels sprout with Salted Queenfish Recipe
Yield: 3-4 servings
preparation time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 15 minutes
- 200 g Brussels sprout
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 medium cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 tablespoon salted queenfish (ปลาสละเค็ม)
- Neutral flavor oil for frying
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon yellow bean paste (เต้าเจี้ยว ; taochiao)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Soak salted queenfish in water for 20 minutes to remove excess saltiness.
- Dry it well with a paper towel.
- On a medium low heat, fry the salted fish from both sides, until golden. The picture shows a larger batch than needed in this recipe. It keeps well sealed refrigerated for few days.
- With your fingers, break the fish meat into small bite size pieces.
- Wash the wok well with water
- Blanch the Brussels sprout in hot boiling water briefly with a tablespoon of salt, transfer immediately to an ice bath. Blanching helps to keep the brussels sprout crisp, tender and improve their color.
- In an iron cast wok, on a medium high heat, fry garlic until fragrant.
- Add salted fish and fry for few seconds.
- Add brussels sprout and keep stir-frying for a minutes or so until the vegetables looks crispy.
- Add seasoning and fry for last 20-30 seconds.
- Serve with steamed rice or rice soup