Scrambled Salt Fish and Chicken Fried Rice Has a Cult Following in Vietnam
You may look at dry, salted fish and see something unappealing, from a Western perspective. Orange-brown flesh all firmed up. That said, its taste is second to none. That’s why you’ll find, in Vietnamese cuisine, salted fish used in soups, vegetable dishes, and of course, as a natural addition to rice dishes.
In Vietnam, for a long time, salted fish was a go-to protein source for families and eaten daily. Today, the fish populations in this part of the world have declined significantly however the culture’s still there. A lot of modern Vietnam-based restaurants and vendors still serve salted fish, as well as a variety of fish dishes.
A lot of those Vietnam restaurants, similar to what you’ll find at Toronto Vietnamese restaurants, have ‘mixed menus’. These combine homegrown tastes and influences of Western cuisine. Alongside traditional noodles, salted fish, fried rice, and pho, you’ll now find sandwiches, wraps, teas, coffees, and more. Regardless, scrambled salted fish and chicken fried rice lives on in Vietnamese culture.
There’s a lot that goes into arriving at the distinct aroma of the scrambled salt fish and chicken fried rice, and its amazing taste. From the chef’s perspective, they’re working from a base of chicken fried rice. Whatever spices, herbs, veggies, or fragrances a chef adds to the dish are going to sink into the rice. The ingredients themselves are pretty simple – white rice, slated fish, diced chicken, scrambled eggs, and scallions. It’s all in what the chef does with these simple ingredients.
Despite the diversity of what’s in it, every bite has that same unmistakable taste – salty yet sweet, sometimes creamy with the scrambled egg element, firm but tender chicken, and rice as the medium to house and carry everything.
If you’re Vietnamese and living abroad, in cities like Toronto, it’s dishes like salted fish and chicken fried rice that bring a connection to family and rich ethnic tradition. Unfortunately, few Toronto restaurants know how to do it well and authentic to what you’d taste in Vietnam. That’s not us though. We go the extra mile to make our families and culture proud. Come and taste our scrambled salt fish and chicken fried rice at TorontoPHO. It’ll be worth it!