Chaoshan Fish Rice: It May Be an Experience You’VE Never Had in Your Life

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  • 2020-04-25
  • China tourism information
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If I ask you, have you ever had fish rice? Maybe you must have a confused look on your face. is it fish with rice? Does eel rice count?

Well, what I want to introduce today is a delicious dish from Chaoshan, an isolated island of food, that is, “fish rice”. It is not a combination of fish and rice. In a simple sentence: cook fish like cooking and eat fish like eating.

Fish rice, a typical regional delicacy, is very difficult to transport.

It was originally eaten by poor families on the coast of Chaoshan-because there was no food, they could only take pickled fish as a staple food.

With the rise of Chaozhou cuisine, fish rice, the only cold dish in Chaozhou fish dishes, is often a delicacy in high-end Chaozhou restaurants.

What Is Fish Rice?

chaoshan-fish-rice-it-may-be-an-experience-youve-never-had-in-your-life

The so-called “fish rice” is to use salt water to put the sea fish that are not cut open, without scaling, and with gills removed, packed in a small bamboo basket and pickled in a cauldron with light salt water, and then boiled in concentrated salt water to cool seafood naturally, while keeping the original taste of seafood to the maximum extent, it can also be stored for a longer time.

Fish rice is related to the living customs of the Han people (also known as “people on the water”). The ancient books call them “non-grain eaters”, that is, they live on seafood such as fish, shrimp, clams and clams, and do not rely on grain grains such as wheat millet.

Yang Wanli, a poet of the Song Dynasty, wrote a poem called “the Household”:

天公分付水生涯,从小教他踏浪花。

煮蟹当粮那识米,缉蕉为布不须纱。

The Allure of Fish Rice

Teacher Zhang Xinmin, who is known as the godfather of folk diet in Chaoshan, said: “Chaoshan is an isolated island of Chinese cuisine, and there is no way for outsiders to appreciate many things. But the people of Shantou loved it to death. For us, there is nothing more delicious than fish rice. If you ask me for an analogy, I think it smells like a mature woman. ” So this explanation, fish rice is indeed very attractive.

Chen Xiaoqing, general director of “China on the Tip of the tongue”, said: when he tasted fish rice for the first time, he really couldn’t stand the fishy smell, but he fell in love with it the second time he ate it. He also commented: that kind of freshness may not be able to be experienced by northerners for the rest of their lives. That taste is impregnated with salt water to promote the slow release of the original sweetness in the fish, forming a unique sweetness.

Chaoshan people love fish rice, as long as it comes to fish rice, their eyes are like turning on a voltage of 380 volts.

Types of Fish Rice

Traditionally, “fish rice” is made of low-value fish, mainly Balang (blue scad), hanging jaw round scad (jaw round scad), wide order (bamboo pod), flower immortal (mackerel), gu fish (golden sardine), Sanli fish (spotted carp) and so on. The process of transportation and marketing of fresh fish is extremely easy to deteriorate, so the first condition for making “fish rice” with fish such as Balang is that it must be fresh.

According to the custom of Chaoshan people, the types of fish rice include shrimp, crabs and shellfish in addition to all kinds of fish. Other kinds of fish rice that are common in the tide-style cold stalls are red crab rice (frozen red crab), lobster rice (frozen crayfish), small squid rice, thin-shell rice (short-toothed clam meat) and red meat rice (blue clam meat).

The Consumption of Fish Rice

After thawing and cleaning the fish rice, steam it in the pot for more than 10 minutes and then get out of the pot. At this time, it is OK to match some special bean paste in Chaoshan.

You can fry it, of course. Wash the fish rice into the pan, fry, fry for more than ten minutes, the surface of the fish is a little scorched, fragrance can be out of the pot. The fried fish rice will give off a unique flavor of fish rice. It makes people’s index finger move after smelling it.

Cold seafood (fish rice) can be served with wine and rice, but the best thing is porridge.
A large bowl of Rice Congee, steamed through the whole fish cooled naturally, the fish meat is tight and sweet.
When eating, you must pick a small piece of meat, and then add the flavored Puning bean paste, chew slowly, the taste will overflow, sweet and delicious, light but not thin, fresh and delicious.

Chaozhou cold is a typical representative of Chaozhou cuisine. Many people in Chaoshan who are drifting outside will look for cold fish or crabs to eat, looking for the taste of their hometown.

Fish Rice, a Famous Delicacy in Chaoshan

Chaoshan is close to the sea, and its natural geographical advantages make it full of seafood fish and shrimp. Chaoshan people are particularly fond of eating fish and are good at making all kinds of related dishes. There are many ways to make fish, which can be stewed or braised as a main course, and the people of Chaoshan are even more good at it. They wash the newly caught fish and soak them in salt water, and put a few soaked fish in each small bamboo basket. Cooked in a cauldron with high concentrations of salt water and then dried into dried fish, this is what the locals call fish rice. Fish rice has nothing to do with rice, it’s just another name for a method of making fish.

Fish rice preserves the delicacy of fish to the greatest extent. According to legend, there was no refrigerator at home in the early days, and fishermen salvaged a large amount of fish at one time. Apart from the fish sold, the rest was difficult to preserve. Therefore, in the long-term life practice, people slowly explore various ways to preserve fish, mostly dried or pickled, which will be more cumbersome in post-production, because the dried fish is raw. Salted fish also need to be cooked before they can be eaten, and fish rice has a variety of methods, which can be used directly or processed with other seasonings to form new dishes.

The reason why it is called fish rice is that the cooked fish rice is placed in a bamboo basket, just like a basket of dry rice. The taste of fish rice is very delicious, and it is not salty or light, so it is difficult for people to stop after eating it. Chaoshan people’s demand for fish rice is like all southerners for rice, so for them, this is a daily food, called fish rice is more cordial.

The simplest way to eat is to boil the fish rice directly, and the soup is also very delicious, which can be eaten with a series of seasonal vegetables such as tofu. The entrance is smooth and wonderful. Friends who like seafood must give it a try.

If you want to eat authentic local fish rice, you still need to go to the local people’s homes to find out, because the production requirements of this dish are relatively strict, and it must be very close to the fishing site. If the transportation time is too long, the meat quality of the fish becomes not so fresh, which in turn affects the taste and experience of the whole dish. Almost every fishing family in Chaoshan can make fish rice. First of all, pick out the salvaged fish, and generally pick out some damaged fish that do not look good to make fish rice, so as to ensure that the whole family can get the greatest economic benefits. these fish are washed with clean water and soaked in high concentration salt water for more than half an hour.

After soaking, the fish are taken out and placed in a bamboo screen in the form of a circle, and the contact area between the fish and salt is increased as much as possible. when placing the fish head, there is an unwritten rule, that is, the fish head uniformly to the left, which is a superstition of the local people. Sea salt is evenly sprinkled on the fish, and the fish may be deformed by heat during cooking, so it is necessary to put a steamer on top of the bamboo basket and press it with heavy objects to prevent it from getting out of shape in the production process.

When cooking fish rice, be sure to use a large fire, use a hanger to stack all the bamboo sieves layer by layer on the hanger, the cauldron is a high concentration of salt water, generally cooking time of about 15 minutes is enough. Cooked fish rice can not be eaten immediately, but also need to use boiling salt water on the fish, so that you can wash away the impurities on the surface of the fish, and finally put it in a ventilated place for a few hours to make sure the water on the fish is drained before you can eat it.

Fish rice is generally made of local unique Balang fish. The meat of this kind of fish is very tight and can generally be preserved for three to five days after it is done. Fishermen will also transport these fish rice to big cities or villages and towns to sell. Chaoshan people like to eat porridge. Fish rice is also a very good ingredient for making porridge, which can play a very good role in refreshing, and is rich in nutrition and protein. After cooking, the taste will also become softer, which is a very popular food in the market.

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Chaoshan Fish Rice: It May Be an Experience You’VE Never Had in Your Life

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