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Ian_Lee

Salted Fish

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Ian_Lee

It is really weird that just two small groups of people are addicted to salted fish in the world.

They are the people in Guangdong province (Cantonese, Hakka and Chaozhouese) and Spaniards/Portuguese. Out of these two groups, the Cantonese and Portuguese are especially crazy about it.

Many older generation Cantonese almost have salted fish as daily food for 50 or 60 years. In fact, Cantonese idiom describes someone who leads a poor life as eating salted fish and green vegetables everyday.

However, two recent phenomena have affected salted fish in Cantonese cuisine:

(1) Salted fish have been proven to the leading cause of nasal cancer. In fact, Cantonese, especially those living in the Xijiang (West River) region in Guangdong, are three times more vulnerable than others to be affected with nasal cancer.

(2) Simultaneously when salted fish was proven to be lethal, the price of salted fish skyrocketed. Salted fish has stopped to be a poor man's diet.

There are two kinds of Cantonese-style salted fish: the first is the dried one and the second one is mildewed and fragant (霉香) that you have to preserve it in a jar of oil.

On the other hand, the Portuguese is also crazy about the salted codfish exported from Norway. And fortunately price wise for Portuguese gourmets, salted codfish is cheaper than the Cantonese style salted fish.

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Xiao Kui
(1) Salted fish have been proven to the leading cause of nasal cancer. In fact, Cantonese, especially those living in the Xijiang (West River) region in Guangdong, are three times more vulnerable than others to be affected with nasal cancer

I never heard of people getting nose cancer till I lived in Guangzhou, and my Chinese friends told me it was from the pollution, which made perfect sense to me. Turns out the culprit was salted fish.

They are the people in Guangdong province (Cantonese, Hakka and Chaozhouese) and Spaniards/Portuguese. Out of these two groups, the Cantonese and Portuguese are especially crazy about it.

Don't forget Jamaicans, they're definitely contenders in the crazy abt salted fish category.

My favorite breakfast is Jamaican salted fish fried together with calaloo and breadfruit - I've only had it a few times, but it was hearty and memorable. Mmmm ... Definitely lacking in China or in any city too small to have a West Indian market.

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horas

*

I believe salt fish - imo that's the correct form (not salted fish) - is popular in the whole of South East Asia.

I doubt it's that easy to prove something we eat is the cause of some specific disease. Think about the opinion - salt as the cause of high blood pressure - has never be proven.

salt fish - fish preserved by salt

salted fish - fish with some salt on it

-

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horas

*

Sorry, I've checked the dictionary and I'm only partly right.

I realize now that the English (simple) construction of (adjective+noun) or compound (noun+noun) imho in this special case can't differentiate between three meanings:

1. fish with some salt on it

2. fish preserved by salt: this must be a common/known practice in all (fishing) communities worldwide, as salt is widely known as a means of preserving (meat).

3. oversalted fish, the amount of salt used is more than needed to preserve the fish, this is I reckon the variant we are talking about (said to be causing nosecancer).

Now, of interest to me now is the question:

How would a Chinese native speaker express those meanings/distinctions in Chinese, say, by a maximum of three characters?

If the expressions in use fail to give clear distinctions, what phrases do you suggest?

thx

-

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wiz_oz

Just to stir up the issue.

If oversalted fish applies, how about undersalted fish?

Ha Ha.................

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flameproof

I have to out myself: I really like anchovies!

Salted fish is also in the very common "yúxiāngqiézi" / 鱼香茄子

>(1) Salted fish have been proven to the leading cause of nasal cancer.

Try get it into you via the mouth. I do that with all foods and have no problem.

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horas
wiz_oz

If oversalted fish applies, how about undersalted fish?

*

Beg your pardon, I'm not an English native speaker, I'm sure you can suggest a better adjective to express the idea.

btw, undersalted fish has been proven to keep the blood pressure low and to prevent nose cancer because it is not as smelly as its oversalted variant. :mrgreen:

PS

Have read in the newspaper a couple of days ago that the Sumerians & Babylonians had already traded with salted meat and salted fish in their days. I believe, CMIIW those folks lived a couple of thousand years B.C.

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Toffeeliz

they had a spicy salted fish where i was i n guangdong ^_^ twas nice...i actually miss it :)

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horas
flameproof:

Salted fish is also in the very common "yúxiāngqiézi" / 鱼香茄子

*

I believe what ian_lee had in mind is a very plain meal consisting of (dried) x-salted fish which is fried and the Chinese eats with hot rice porridge.

In Indonesia the x-salted fried fish is eaten with heaps of hot rice and sambal terasi, a concoction of hot chili.

x-salted = extra salted (oversalted)

-

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Gary Soup

Salted fish and pork is a comfort food beloved by Cantonese in San Francisco. I think the fat would kill you long before you ate enough to get nasal cancer, though.

I love anchovies on my pizza.

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liuzhou
Salted fish is also in the very common "yúxiāngqiézi" / 鱼香茄子

Not anywhere I've eaten it.

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smalltownfart
I love anchovies on my pizza.

I still don't understand the Western aversion to anchovies/fish sauce/salted fish.

Whenever we had parties at work, and the email goes around asking for topping preferences, I'd always vote for anchovies, but I never understood why nobody else wanted it.

Once, by some miracle, some poor naive secretary ordered a super large anchovy pizza as per my instructions. I distinctly remember the aroma when the pizza was delivered, it made my mouth water, but I could hear the gasps of disgust. Only 1 other person wanted to eat it, I still think it was the yummiest pizza I ever had.

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hkkevin

Alongside salted fish, there's also salted ham which is really expensive. It'd heard that there's also a salted bloody duck --- People cut the throat of ducks, hang them up, let the blood bleed over the body with feather. Anyone heard this?

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