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Apr 14, 2009 07:57 PM

Canned Smoked Chinese Herring in Black Bean - Missing in Action?

One of my most favorite things is canned smoked herring in black bean sauce. Used to purchase it from the Chinese market and now can not find. it Even my mother in law can't find it! Where did it go? It was a favorite comfort food. Any sightings or explanations?

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  1. Do you mean the Deep Fried Dace w/Black Beans in that odd oval-shaped can?

    1. Tekkamaki is correct. Its 'fried dace'. One can still find them at T&T as well as selective Chinese supermarkets up in Richmond Hill/Markham. However, you are right, not all Chinese stores carry them.
      I heard they were banned ( first by the Hong Kong government ) for a while due to some type of toxin found in the fish. Typical of Made in Mainland China food products lately. A lot of tainted or fake products reported by the HK government Health department..etc. Even fake eggs! Imagine that! As a result, have been avoiding Chinese products and buying Taiwanese, Hong Kong or Japanese instead. Unfortunately, none of them make 'Fried Dace'!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Charles Yu

        I would agree with Charles Yu. There was a large write up a while ago about the potential health hazards of the fried dace with black bean sauce. I have since stopped consuming it, though I do have cravings once in a while. The risks are not worth it.

        1. re: BokChoi

          That's too bad as that little tin can was a large part of my childhood!

      2. SO loves that fish with rice. I thought it got taken off the shelves a couple of years ago and I haven't seen it since. Mind you I haven't been looking because I just assume it won't be there. I have heard someone mentioned they just bought some but it didn't taste very good so maybe some 'fakes' are making onto TOs shelves.

        1 Reply
        1. re: theel

          Saw some at Spadina Chinatown, Sanhe brand, manufactured 2008/10. It is not one of the three brands that were found to contain the toxins in 2005. (This toxin was not only found in canned dace but in a huge variety of fish, even fresh. I assume they've clean up their acts now - seems like you can buy them in Hong Kong again.)

        2. I hope this is a little solace... I was in T&T today and and saw SARDINES in Black Bean Sauce by Galong Brand. Now I have no idea what they taste like, but it may be a safe (?) substitute.
          I so miss the fried dace though....

          1 Reply
          1. re: oracle347

            Just bought 6 cans fr. Oriental @ Kennedy/Denison.Used to cost around $.99 before but now cost $2.50 per can. They bring in very small shipment & it usually don't last long, the supply

          2. another hk childhood memory, I used to love the canned 回鍋肉 (twice cooked pork). I haven't seen them in supermarkets here in years.

            I forget the name of the brand, but the can had a green label.

            5 Replies
            1. re: aser

              Hi Aser! You can get them almost everywhere now! They are all made in Canada under the license of 'Pearl River'. Occasionally, one can even get 'Made in China' ones. You need to search for them in 'real Chinese super-markets'! Not the T&Ts!

              1. re: Charles Yu

                thanks, I should pay attention more. Usually I bypass the canned aisles at supermarkets (chinese or regular) since I try to avoid that stuff (sodium overload). I will indulge for old times sake next time I see it

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  What is a "real" Chinese supermarket, if not T&T?

                  1. re: T Long

                    Personally, I find T&T a bit too westernized and 'fusion'. Furthermore, since they are Taiwanese own, the range of 'Chinese goods' they carry are not too varied. There are certain 'Chinese owned' Chinese supermarkets in Scarborough and Richmond Hill ( eg the ones at Denison/Kennedy, Warden/south of Steeles, Sheppard/Brimley, Bayview/Blackmoor, Finch/Leslie, Kennedy/407...etc) that carriy much more 'Mainland Chinese' products.

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      I usually go to the one at Bayview & Blackmoor or 16th & Spadina. I like T&T but the crowds and chaos in the parking lot makes it a once in a while mission. It definitely has to be on a day off, I have no energy to deal with it after work.

                      I do like their cold deep fried tofu in the ready made food section, right by the tea eggs.