28 Mar2008


We have enjoyed salted fish fried rice in Chinese restaurants across Southeast Asia, some with a perfect balance of saltiness and moisture and flavor, while others poor pretenders at best. While we enjoy the dish immensely, we haven’t tried to cook it at home, but the purchase of some spectacular dried lapu-lapu was the catalyst for this attempt… The results were startlingly good. I understand Chinese restaurants use a particular kind of dried fish, but I have not figured out what it is… I just went on gut feel that this meaty lapu-lapu would yield a very edible version of Daing Fried Rice.


Start by cooking an entire pot of rice the night BEFORE you want to make the fried rice, as “old” boiled rice is better than freshly cooked rice for this recipe. Next, take half of a large daing na lapu-lapu, around 300 grams worth of meat and soak this for an hour or two, depending on how much salt you want to remove from the fish. Change the water a few times if you want to reduce the saltiness further. We didn’t soak for too long because I WANTED the salt.


In a large kawali or wok, heat up some vegetable oil (I used about a cup or two worth) and fry meaty pieces of the daing. Remove and cool slightly until you can shred the dried fish into small pieces. Strain the oil that you fried the dain in (it will probably have some residue in it) and return about 4-6 tablespoons of the fragrant oil back to the wok or kawali and heat this up again. Add the shredded daing, some minced garlic then the rice and mix thoroughly…


You have to gauge the dried fish to rice ratio to achieve the right balance of saltiness to starch… For half a medium sized fish, I used about half or more of a regular pot of rice from a rice cooker. Next, I cracked three organic eggs onto the rice and mixed this some more. The egg helps to bind the rice together a bit and adds a little bit of complexity to the dish. Sprinkle with chopped green onion for color and some flavor. I added the fried half fish head for the purposes of the photo, mainly… But the taste of this dish was excellent. A little too salty but we were able to modulate that with more rice. Enjoy this with a side dish of smashed native tomatoes and that is a complete meal in my eyes… but of course we served this with crab and other seafood and vegetables as well. In the end, despite the pricey dried fish, I figured that we used a maximum of 300 grams or PHP150 worth of fish, about PHP20 worth of rice, oil, gas, etc. and this easily fed 12-15 hungry adults so each large serving cost just PHP13-15; not bad at all!


A second way that we enjoyed the dried fish was sarciado style, and I did a previous post on this here, but with fried danggit instead. In this sarciado, one of the crew’s spouses made a thick sauce of onions, garlic, lots and lots of brilliant native tomatoes, vinegar, a little soy sauce, sugar, etc. and added soaked pieces of daing, fried, and let this all simmer until done. Superb! And unless you want heart palpitations, all you need is a couple of square inches of of daing and the sauce and you will easily have enough for two cups or more of rice! :)



  1. millet says:

    the fried rice is calling me…seriously yelling at me! i should go to the bulad market next time i’m in cebu.

    Mar 28, 2008 | 8:51 am


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  3. Gaye says:

    Oohh!! I love daing fried rice! I have ‘tried’ making my own daing fried rice but the final dish is always different everytime haha. will definitely try your recipe. thanks MM!

    Mar 28, 2008 | 9:09 am

  4. CecileJ says:

    “a side dish of smashed native tomatoes” – Why is it that smashed tomatoes (torn and smashed by hand) seem juicier and more delish than tomatoes that were sliced with a knife and then smashed with a fork?

    Mar 28, 2008 | 9:31 am

  5. Maria Clara says:

    Food of the champion – daing, fried rice and tomatoes!

    Mar 28, 2008 | 10:02 am

  6. rachel says:

    i love salted fish fried rice but not sure what kind of dried fish they’re using.this one looks delicious. will try this with daing na tilapia this weekend as i don’t have any access to daing na lapulapu.

    Mar 28, 2008 | 10:04 am

  7. Maricel says:

    I attended a cooking class and for this dish they added some Lee Kum Kee shrimp paste and a pinch of five spice powder and shredded lettuce leaves. Your version though looks yummier.

    Mar 28, 2008 | 10:20 am

  8. sonnysj says:

    I yet have to try daing fried rice. I normally prepare fried rice with chinese chorizo.

    Instead of spring onions, I use leeks. As Mericel have said, I also add shredded lettuce leaves, when available. I finish off the fried rice with some grated carrots – adds color and very healthy too.

    Mar 28, 2008 | 10:45 am

  9. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    YUMMY!!!! I guage the quality of a chinese resto by the salted fish fried rice, and sweet & sour pork they serve!!!

    Mar 28, 2008 | 10:56 am

  10. Homebuddy says:

    Yes, dried Lapu-lapu is the best! With the starch and the salt, my blood pressure is sure to rise to high heavens, but I love this recipe so much.

    Mar 28, 2008 | 12:02 pm

  11. amvdamian says:

    I used to love eating dried and salted fish – all types. As I was growing up I remember pouring coffee with milk over sinangag and eating it with tuyo or daing. I know. Coffee with milk, garlic rice and dried fish do not usually go well together but for some reason, this was how I learned how to eat dried fish.

    I loved dried fish so much that my father would always bring home several different types of dried fish, including the dried lapulapu featured above, from his frequent business trips down south. On trips to Hong Kong, we would often ask friends to help us get the special salted fish used for fried rice.

    Then in medical school and several medical conferences I attended, I learned that consumption of such was related to an increased incidence of cancer, particularly nasopharyngeal cancer (NPCa) and gastrointestinal cancers (stomach, esophageal, etc).

    Southern China has the highest incidence of NPCa. I remember a Cantonese colleague from HK once said that in many studies conducted, NPCa was highest among Cantonese in Southern China and even those residing in the US (I think he mentioned California). The incidence rates however were higher for those in Southern China due to continued consumption of Chinese-style salted fish. On the other hand, Japan ranks among the first in incidence of stomach (and other GI) cancers. Both of these Cancers are attributed to consumption of salted foods (among other risk factors – genetics, viral infection, etc.), examples of which are salted fish (NPCa, GI cancers) and salt-cured vegetables/ pickles/ Japanese pickles (gastric Ca).

    A study by the International Agency on Research for Cancer (IARC) found high levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine in Chinese-style salted fish. This type of dried fish is “is usually softened by partial decomposition before or during salting.” I believe the same study mentioned that data is inconclusive for other types of dried/ salted fish (other parts of the world).

    If I remember my biochemistry correctly, nitrites, nitrates and other similar compounds are likewise found in preserved or cured meats (and in highly-salted vegetables) either as additives to preserve the meats or as a product of decomposition and bacterial action.

    I am not trying to ambush your post or whatever. So why am I posting this comment? First because there has been considerable interest in cancer (particularly GI cancer) during the last few days in light of the recent diagnosis of a former president. Cancer (neoplasms, malignant diseases is now ranked third after heart and vascular diseases as the leading causes of mortality in the Philippines). Most cancers, everyone should know, is PREVENTABLE. In fact, Japan, which I mentioned has the highest rates of GI cancers, makes screening tools very accessible to its population making early diagnosis possible, as cancer is often asymptomatic at a small tumor burden. They also stress prevention through awareness. Also, early treatment leads to cure (“remission” is the proper oncologic term).

    Second, because of the similarity between daing na lapulapu and Chinese-style salted fish. However I suppose that the latter is a few more days, or even weeks in advance in its decomposition compared to the local daing na lapulapu. (Believe me, you will never forget the smell of Chinese-style salted fish being fried. And you will not even think it is food that is being fried!) You mentioned that the specimen you got was still moist and perhaps also very pliable, just like those I used to get from Cebu. The chinese-style salted fish we used to get were likewise, soft, moist and pliable. The fact that maggots survived (mine also had them) is another proof that it has not been thoroughly dried. In contrast, the usual daing and tuyo we get tend to be hard and dry and almost completely dehydrated.

    Ever since that conference I attended in Japan(2004), I have always avoided eating my beloved salted fish fried rice! And other preserved foods for that matter. The data against our local tuyo and daing may still be inconclusive, but I avoid them nonetheless because they are heavily salted and at the very least may contribute to my risk of developing hypertension (which runs in my family). But I have completely given up eating Chinese-style salted fish, Japanese pickles and other preserved stuff.

    Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine
    International Program on Chemical Safety (http://www.inchem.org/)

    Mar 28, 2008 | 3:32 pm

  12. nina says:

    I get really hungry when I read your posts! Sarap….

    Mar 28, 2008 | 4:18 pm

  13. mandayamoore says:

    ginigiling yata ng mga resto ang dried tuna para mas malasa

    Mar 28, 2008 | 5:13 pm

  14. Marketman says:

    mvdamian, thanks for those comments and heads up re: dried fish/salt/cancer. However, as I always say, everything in moderation. I think just about everything we tend to eat these days has some risk of giving you something, so as long as you don’t eat anything to excess, I would say, go with the risks… Otherwise, I would have to give up diet drinks, champoy, dried fish, eating raw sushi, pork in many forms, any colored foods, canned foods, sucrosed foods, etc…. I would personally rather die 10 years younger than the average lifespan of someone who only ate organic home grown malunggay and rice and line caught fish, if I could eat just about anything I wanted… If I am not mistaken, my average lifespan as a Filipino male would have been just 43-45 years in the late 1800’s and now it is closer to 70 years+ Medical science has advanced a lot to extend our lives, I think a few food risks to shorten our lives is a reasonable risk to take, but that’s my personal opinion. :)

    Mar 28, 2008 | 7:59 pm

  15. Ebba says:

    My daughter is into organics, no preservatives.. and she asked me to do the same when her kids (my apo) are at my home. With that I started watching the “pre-mixed” ingredients that I used for cooking and started using fresh veggies, herbs, and fruits instead. And when I have to use anything pre-packaged, I do it in moderation. I believe that with exercise and some vitamins supplement, we will lead a happy, healthy, and satisfied state of mind, hindi yung parang ang dami-daming bawal na hindi natin makain or magawa. How did our ancestors do it anyway?

    Mar 28, 2008 | 9:09 pm

  16. Marketman says:

    Ebba, plus we have to worry about insecticides on the greens and fruits… I think our ancestors ate more locally, by the season, with less preservatives, and a lot less sugar…

    Mar 28, 2008 | 11:11 pm

  17. Lourdz says:

    this post makes me hungry. i haven’t had dried fish for so long..tumutulo na ata laway ko..hehe

    Mar 29, 2008 | 3:28 am

  18. Apicio says:

    Besides the life of someone who lived on a steady diet of “organic home grown malunggay and rice and line-caught fish” would probably seem excruciatingly long even to himself but even worse for those living with him.

    Mar 29, 2008 | 3:42 am

  19. eej says:

    I think everything taken in moderation is the best way to live life. To quote Apicio, life ” would probably seem excruciatingly long even to himself but even worse for those living with him”. What’s the point of living if you deny yourself with wicked artery clogging tasty food, albeit in moderation.

    Mar 29, 2008 | 5:02 am

  20. gina cu says:

    my husband’s family favorite is stewed pork with daing na isda and tokwa. Their ever loyal cook Julia just cooks pork belly slices in water till tender then adds fried big fish daing that have been pre-soaked. Addition of triangular shaped tokwa and some soy sauce for flavor adjustment completes this double whammy dish–cancer, cholesterol, high blood pressure, kidney trouble be damned! hehehe! Ang sarap talaga!!!

    Mar 29, 2008 | 8:59 am

  21. n says:

    looks yummy! kaso we dont have dried lapulapu here..how about anchovies? will that work? anchovies fried rice. :>

    Mar 29, 2008 | 9:14 am

  22. lee says:

    too much daing will cause dying.

    Mar 29, 2008 | 10:33 am

  23. D' Bear says:

    Yummmy… I love daing especially side-by-side with fried rice and washed it down with hot strong coffee, and don’t forget sukang maanghang para sawsawan “sigh” nakakagutom “sigh”. I thnk i’ll have daing tonight. Thanks MM you’re blog site really knows the way to Filipinos hearth. REALLY LOVE POSTING OF FILIPINO CUISINES. MORE POWER!!!

    P.S. HOPE NEXT TIME PAELIA (SEAFOOD STYLE)WILL YOUR NEXT EXPERIMENT OF THE WEEK. I really wanna know how to cook it. Thanks in Advance:P

    Mar 30, 2008 | 2:52 pm

  24. Marketman says:

    D’Bear, I think I have at least paella recipes in my archives, use either my search function and keep scrolling down until the earlier entries, or google “paella marketmanila” and you should find the recipes…

    Mar 30, 2008 | 6:06 pm

  25. Beth says:

    I agree marketman…everything in moderation….que sera sera…..mamatay sa sarap! :)

    Mar 31, 2008 | 1:02 pm

  26. kittyM says:

    My mother-in-law sent us daing last week and I did not know what to do with it.Was planning to cook champorado but was too lazy.I saw this recipe last saturday. Perfect timing! Cooked this for saturday brunch. My husband loved it! Thanks for the recipe.

    Mar 31, 2008 | 2:19 pm

  27. kittyM says:

    By the way I’m trying to eat better now and still had this. Had less to eat the rest of the day.If you want to eat slated fish I say go for it!Just adjust after. Depriving yourself of something might cause psychological damage in the long run.At least thats how I feel :)

    Mar 31, 2008 | 2:30 pm

  28. dhayL says:

    Looking at the photos made me hungry, too bad they’re not available up here, so whenever I get a craving for something “salty”, i have to settle for “tuyo”, I fry a whole batch!

    Apr 7, 2008 | 12:39 am


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