I don’t fancy eating beansprouts on its own, mainly due to its raw after taste which can be quite bitter (to me). However, with the addition of salted fish, this dish is given a new twist. Maybe foods with strong favor appeals to me better.
As the name implies, the core of the dish comprises beansprouts and salted fish. I haven’t been visiting the wet market for quite sometime, but as far as my memory recalls, we could easily get a whole big bunch of beansprouts at 1 dollar or less and the portion can easily feed a family of 3-4 nicely. Salted fish, commonly kippered herring, is often preserved with salt. Thereby, this dish is infamously addressed as a poor man’s dish.
But to some who hardly laid their hands on home-cooked foods, it can be a luxury. Firstly, supermarts don’t sell beansprouts that “cheap” anymore as they are mostly vacuum packed, and to cater for those who prefer having the heads and tails to be removed, “silver sprouts” are available. Since they are picked and treated manually, the price also soars a 3-4 times higher than untreated sprouts. And for various health reasons, salted fish is not a common sight in mainstream supermart. They are essentially high in salt content which can be demurring to one’s health. So you probably have to sacrifice some beauty sleep for a trip down to the wet market one early morning, should your desire for this dish comes about.
And yeah, the Y2k generation will probably hype over their bowl of cup noodles over this poor man’s dish. Probably we will be the last generation to hold attachments to this Asian cuisine that used to feed the entire household. Nevertheless, it’s a typical kind of dish that me and I am sure most Asian families would hope to preserve.
Plain and simple as this post may be, so is this dish.