Steamed Chopped Pork with Salted Fish

29th July 2016

Interview: Killian Fox
Photographs: Laura McCluskey

“I’m doing a really simple supper dish. This recipe uses a quite strong tasting, slightly pungent salted fish called xiang, though you can make it with Vietnamese salted mackerel. The combination of salty and fresh things is important in Hangzhou, so you take something fresh, mild and healthy and you give it this umami kick from the salted food. You can use mince pork but I hand-cut the meat, which gives you a better texture. In Hangzhou, they call it a “lazy cake”, perhaps because it’s not a perfect round meatball. This is just typical home-cooking.”
Fuchsia Dunlop, food writer, London


300g skinless, boneless belly pork (or coarsely ground fatty minced pork)
45g Vietnamese salted mackerel or 60g Chinese dried yellow croaker
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1½ tsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp potato starch
3 tbsp stock
1 tbsp thinly sliced spring onions, green parts only


If possible, put the meat in the freezer for an hour or two before you begin, which will make the cutting much easier. If you are using dried croaker, soak it in cold water for at least 1 hour, then cut it open, winkle out the bones and finely chop it. If you are using the moister salted mackerel, just cut it into small pieces, discarding the bones. Cover the shiitake mushrooms with boiling water and leave to soak for at least half an hour, then remove the stalks and finely chop the caps.

Cut the pork into 5mm slices. Cut the slices into strips and then into small dice. The idea is to end up with a coarse, chunky mince. Put it in a mixing bowl and add everything else except the salted fish and spring onions, and mix well. Stir in the croaker, if using (salted mackerel should be added later). Stir vigorously with your hand until the pork has a sticky texture. Spread it out into a circle in a shallow dish that will fit in your steamer: the meat should be 2-3cm deep.

Cut the salted mackerel, if using, into slices and place these on top of the pork. Cover the dish with a plate or kitchen foil. Place it in a steamer and steam over high heat for about 25 minutes, until cooked through. Serve scattered with the spring onion greens.






Posted 29th July 2016

In Recipes


Interview: Killian Fox
Photographs: Laura McCluskey