This combination may sound weird to you, but in Malaysia (and according to the recipe book that Makmah gave me) there is a fried rice recipe where you use salted dried fish (ikan masin) and kailan (which you can read more about here). These 2 ingredients are difficult to find here in Athens, and I had some leftover salted cod from this recipe here, and I had bought some kale from the supermarket. Kale and kailan have a similar texture – they are both sturdy vegetables that doesn’t go all mushy when you stir fry them. So call this a fusion or substitution of Malaysian and Greek ingredients. #perantauproblems. It actually tasted incredibly yummy – the salted cod was soaked until it wasn’t really salty, and the flesh is sturdier than normal unsalted cod so it stayed in chunks when you fried them with the rice. I added an egg into the mix (to make it into a complete meal in itself) and voila! Malaysian-Greek-healthtrend fusion dish. If you can’t find kale (or kailan) you can use fresh spinach as an alternative.
I added some sliced chillies in the mix (birds-eye chillies!) for spiciness, which you can omit if you don’t like it spicy and 2 kaffir lime leaves, sliced thin, to make the rice smell less fishy and slightly more fragrant. I served it with a garnish of sliced cucumbers and some crispy fried onions. I also had some kasturi limes (also known as calamansi) that you can squeeze on top of the rice just before eating – substitute with normal limes if you can’t find any kasturi limes. If you live in Athens, you can find kasturi limes from Farmer’s in Ambelokipi.
Ingredients: (serves 1)
- 35g – 40g of salted cod, prepared (soaked, deboned and skin removed) and cut into cubes.
- 1 portion of cooked and cooled rice, preferably long grain, like jasmine
- a big handful of kale, washed and stems removed
- a big handful of fresh spinach, washed and coarsely sliced (optional)
- a handful of peas, defrosted and drained (optional)
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
- 1 garlic clove, chopped fine
- 1 – 2 small red chillies, chopped fine (reduce or omit if you want it less/non-spicy)
- 2 pieces of kaffir lime leaf, sliced fine.
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp of dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp of light soy sauce
- Pepper (to taste)
- a few slices of cucumbers, to garnish (optional)
- crispy fried onions, to garnish (optional)
- kasturi limes, for garnish (optional )
- Heat up the wok on medium high. Once hot, add the olive oil and immediately add the onions into the oil.
- Stir for a few seconds, then add the garlic, chillies and kaffir lime leaves.
- Cook for about a minute until fragrant.
- Then add the cubed salted fish and cook until the fish turns white.
- Add the vegetables – kale, spinach (if using) and peas (if using) and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the light soya sauce now and stir.
- Once the vegetables have cooked, add the rice and coat the grains thoroughly with the mixture in the wok.
- Make a well in the centre of the rice mixture, and break an egg in the well. Add the dark soy sauce onto the egg.
- With your spatula, break the egg yolk and mix as if you are about to make scrambled eggs.
- Fold the rice with the partly-cooked egg mixture, stir and continue frying the rice until it is dry and you can see it start getting crispy at the bottom of the wok.
- Serve immediately, and garnish with some crispy fried onions, some sliced cucumbers and a kasturi lime cut in half.