Friday, August 19, 2011

Steamed Minced Pork with Salted Fish (Haam Yu Jeng Ju Yoke)

Here is one humble home-cooked Cantonese dish that really brings on a nostalgic feel.  I still remember those days how my father enjoyed this dish - scooping up the wonderful gravy onto his rice with his chopsticks and meat patty, taking a bite into the juicy meat patty and savoring the aromatic bowl of rice.  Hamm yu jeng ju yoke (咸鱼蒸猪肉), paired with some blanched vegetables or soup, to go with plain rice, will make a satisfying and comforting meal.

When I served this dish at the dining table, my little girl went "wow.... I smell something nice!".  Ha... indeed a true blue Canto who loves her soup too ;)  This is one of her favorite dishes and I told her when she grows up, she will  learn to prepare this and share it with us.

There are some variations to this dish.  You can replace the salted fish with salted shrimp paste (咸虾蒸猪肉) or with a salted egg (mix minced meat with salted egg white and place the yolk on top).  You can either prepare this as a side dish to go with rice (as in my post here) or steam the pork patty directly over steamed rice (煲仔饭).  These are all lovely combinations and fairly easy to prepare at home.  For a more balanced diet, prepare a vegetable dish or soup to go with it.  

Till now, I find my mum's version of this hamm yu jeng ju yoke the best.  As usual, she does not have written recipe, everything is in her head and finger tips.  And this is my version and I am still working on how to improve it further.

(serves 3 to 4)

200g minced pork
2 Chinese mushrooms, soak in water till soft, finely chopped
2 water chestnuts, finely chopped
1 thumb-sized piece of salted fish, rinse and cut into small pieces
1 tsp grated ginger
Some shredded ginger
Some chopped spring onion (garnish)

1 - 2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp cooking wine
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
Tiny pinch of salt
Dash of pepper
1 tbsp water
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp cooked shallot oil (to drizzle on top before steaming)

Few points to note:
1) Minced pork should have some fats in it.  The pork patty will taste "dried" if it is all lean meat. If buy ready-minced pork, use a chopper to mince it again for a "bouncy" meat patty (弹牙).

2) I believe (traditionally) there is no Chinese mushrooms or water chestnuts in this dish.  But, we love the aroma and the crunch that these ingredients add to the dish.

3) Marinate and chill the pork patty for at least an hour before steaming for better texture and flavour.

1) Mix the minced pork with the seasonings.  Stir in the chopped mushrooms, water chestnuts, half the salted  fish and grated ginger.  Spread and press the meat patty evenly into a plate.  Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

2) Sprinkle the remaining salted fish and shredded ginger on top of the meat patty.  Drizzle with shallot oil.  Steam on high for about 10 minutes.  Garnish with  chopped spring onion and serve immediately.

I will be sharing this dish with Edith of Precious Moments at her Heritage Food Trail.


  1. This is one of my favourite home cook dish! I can eat it with just plain rice. Thanks for sharing the tip on giving the ready-minced meat another round of chopping, I learn a new thing every day :)

  2. One of my favorite too, I can eat 2 bowl of rice with this dish. Yours look so inviting.

  3. This is my favourite dish. ;p Just this and a bowl of porridge is enough for a meal for me.

  4. I'm a Canto too.
    The version that we have at home is different.
    The salted fish and pork is not minced, but sliced. Hope to try this version next time.
    I'm posting my submissions on Mon and Weds :)

  5. This is a chalenge to try.Mince and fish.I have eaten meat and fish before but not prepared like this.Worth trying:)

  6. Happy Homebaker/Amelia: Seems like this home-cooked dish is one of the hot favorite for most of us.

    Happy Flour: Yes, I like to have this with porridge too.

    Wendy: We have another sliced version, steamed with "zar choy" (榨菜), very appetising too.

    Dzoli: give this a try. The taste/aroma is "less threatening" than our durian.

  7. To all shi fu here, just wonder why is my steam minced pork is not stick together in 1 piece, like urs in the photo, mine is still in minced shape and have to be scopped, cant use chopstick to get it?

    1. Is there anything that you do or did not do from the above recipe? For minced pork, once it is mixed with seasoning and steamed, it will stick together. Maybe you try again.

  8. I too love steamed pork patty but have never had it with salted fish.
    Have always had it with finely chopped 'salted preserved turnip' (chung-choy?) mixed into the pork. Perhaps a Toisan version?.

    I've also had it with salted turnip PLUS some finely chopped Chinese pork sausage. I found everyone loves it with the sausage added.

    Mavis in Ontario, Canada

    1. I love steamed pork patty with preserved turnip (tong choy) too! Try it with salted fish, if you managed to buy it from Chinese shops. The lovely saltiness from the fish will give a different taste from the preserved turnip. It's just like Italian use anchovies in their dish for added flavour.

  9. Really i love this dish form last night ,At last night i just came across your blog and i read your recipes ,i tried to make it,really this meat mince dish are so tasty.thanks for sharing this dish recipes.

  10. My favorite dish at the Far East Café in LA during the 1950's and 1960's. Can't wait to try this recipe! Hard to find in restaurants nowadays. .


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