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I've bought a bag of small dried and salted fish at my local Chinese market. My guess was that the thingies could be eaten right out of the box, but they are too bony and salty.

I guess they need some kind of desalting and perhaps frying, but not sure what to try.

From the back of the bag drawings and text (thanks Google Translate!) I managed to infer that it's really a snack (ideal beer companion!)

Any ideas on how to prepare/serve them?

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  • Is asking the owner of your local Chinese market for a translation or explanation out of the question? – Dispenser Jul 18 '14 at 14:36
  • @Dispensador Yup. Their local language command and helpfulness aren't (how to say it) "outstanding". – Dr. belisarius Jul 18 '14 at 14:38
  • That is unfortunate. Hopefully a literate Chinese speaker will stumble upon this question and give you a hand. – Dispenser Jul 18 '14 at 14:39
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    They might be similar to dried shrimp -- where they're used as a flavoring in other dishes, and not intended for eating on their own. – Joe Jul 18 '14 at 15:58
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    If they are suggested to be consumed with beer, then they are already prepared. People make beer snacks salty and overly crispy on purpose. – rumtscho Jul 18 '14 at 17:53
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Next time get the really really small ones. Those are best raw. The bigger ones usually are fried first before eating. Then the bones get crunchy and the saltiness is not as prominent. Others are used for stocks or garnishes, as said before.

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Based on my russian experience, this is ready to go snack. Just bite it and drink beer. I know, my american friends usually scared to try "uncooked" fish, but salty dried fish is good. Also I would recommend you to try salty dried calamari or octopuses.

Cheers!

  • Thanks a lot for your answer. Trying them out of the box was exactly what I did, but they are waaay too salty and the taste is not "pleasant". And I'm far from a picky eater :) – Dr. belisarius Jul 21 '14 at 0:05
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From the text it simply says 提魚干, which I assume is some sort of dried fish. I'm not sure about Chinese, but based on Japanese cuisine it looks like it might be a type of Niboshi.

Those are usually used as a stock for soup, as flavoring in dishes, with dips as a snack, or as garnish when ground, etc.

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