MFWF highlights: Mission Chinese with Danny B

Casey Warrener
10 February, 2016

To give you an idea of Danny's ventures at this year's Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, he’s shared with us a cracking recipe for Salt Cod Fried Rice.

Danny Bowien is the man behind Mission Chinese, one of New York’s hottest eateries. Starting its life in San Francisco, Danny extended his bold regional flavours to a kitsch-cool basement den on the Lower East Side in late 2014, where he dishes up his American-Chinese bites to a soundtrack of chart-topping hits (more on the Mission Chinese ‘My Space’ page). At this year’s Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Danny will be demonstrating at festival hub Urban Dairy supported by Legendairy, as well as making a guest appearance at the always-fabulous Attica in Ripponlea.

To give you an idea of Danny’s intrepid ventures in the kitchen, he’s shared with us a cracking recipe for Salt Cod Fried Rice. When you’re making this at home, we urge you, please – style your plates like so.

Danny Bowien's Salt Cod Fried Rice

Serves 4 as part of a larger meal


• 3 cups warm freshly cooked jasmine rice (from about 1½ cups raw)
• 6 ounces store-bought salt cod, soaked and shallow-fried (see note)
• ¾ cup lap cheong (Chinese sausage), thinly sliced
• 1 cup thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
• ½ cup thinly sliced scallions (greens and whites)
• ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)
• About ½ cup vegetable or peanut oil
• 3 large eggs, beaten
• ½ cup Mackerel Confit (recipe follows)
• 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste


Start by making what we call a rice stack: Put the steamed rice in a medium bowl. Set the salt cod on top of the rice. Cap the cod off with the sausage. You want the ingredients to hit the wok in reverse order—sausage, fish, rice—and the stack facilitates this.

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, scallions, and cilantro.

Heat a wok over the strongest heat your stove can muster. Add a few healthy glugs of the oil—about ¹⁄³ cup—and heat until almost smoking. Pull the wok off the burner, add the eggs and mackerel confit, and stir briskly in one direction with a wok spatula, stopping well short of fully cooked eggs. With a hot wok, this will take only about 10 seconds. Dump the eggs and mackerel onto a plate.

Return the wok to the heat and get it smoking hot again. Slick with a couple more tablespoons of the oil, then dump in your rice stack. Gently break up the stack and use the spatula to press the rice against the bottom and sides of the hot wok. Wait 10 seconds, then flip and stir the rice. Flatten and press again, and wait 10 seconds. Flip and flatten a last time.

Season the rice with the salt, sugar, and fish sauce and give it a quick stir. Add the eggs and mackerel and give another quick stir to distribute them.

Scoop everything out of the wok and into the bowl holding the lettuce, scallions, and cilantro. Give everything a toss to mix, then dish out onto a serving platter.

Note: Submerge the salt cod in cold water and refrigerate for 24 hours; change the water twice during the soaking. The next day, drain the cod, pat it dry, and break it into small pieces. Shallow-fry the fish in about ¼ inch of vegetable or peanut oil over medium heat until deep golden brown and thoroughly dried out—it should be almost jerky-like. This will take some time—be patient and expect to spend 10 to 15 minutes standing over the stove. Transfer the fish to a paper-towel-lined plate and let it cool to room temperature, then pulse the fish into thin shreds in a food processor.

For more must-do events at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, on from March 4 to 13, visit

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