Australian/New Zealander

Fish Stick Stir-Fry With Lap Cheong, Sweet Potato & Broccolini

February  3, 2022
4 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine. Food Stylist: Adrienne Anderson.
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

Fish sticks were my salvation when I was nursing a newborn, the quickest answer to satisfy the most desperate of hungers when the fridge was bare and time was lacking. Also known as fish fingers, there's always a box of them in my freezer, and over time I have become quite the connoisseur, sampling every brand in existence. I whipped up this recipe on a whim, and it’s been a favorite ever since. Crispy fish, smoky lap cheong, tender sweet potato, and a sweet-sticky sauce—it’s a vibrant dish that comes together with ease.

Eaten in many parts of East and Southeast Asia, from China to Thailand to Vietnam, lap cheong (the Cantonese name for Chinese wind-dried sausage) is typically made of pork, pork fat, and sometimes liver. It has a coarser texture than emulsified sausages because the meat is chopped rather than ground, an ancient production technique that dates back to 300 to 500 AD, long before the existence of meat grinders and sausage stuffers. Depending on where it is made, lap cheong may be infused with Shaoxing wine, a Chinese white spirit known as baijiu, Chinese five-spice powder, sugar, curing salt, soy sauce, and sometimes Sichuan pepper or rose wine. Lap cheong typically comes in packs of six or so, but it will last for months in the fridge. If you’re struggling to find lap cheong, you could substitute diced chorizo, bacon, or pancetta.

A couple more tips: Try to source the chunkiest, best-quality fish sticks you can find—sometimes labeled as “chunky,” “gastro,” or “extra large,” although the standard ones will do (increase the quantity to eight if so). And to serve four, simply double the ingredients and use a deep, heavy-based saucepan or a wide, large wok. —Lara Lee

What You'll Need
  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 300 grams), skin on and cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • Neutral oil, such as sunflower or canola
  • 6 to 8 frozen fish sticks
  • 1 tablespoon light or regular soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 90 grams lap cheong (about 2 Chinese sausages), finely diced
  • 60 grams fresh or canned baby corn (about 7), halved lengthways
  • 60 grams broccolini, halved lengthways and chopped into chunks
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds (untoasted or toasted)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  1. Heat the oven to 400°F with the convection setting on if you have one; if you don’t, heat the oven to 425°F. On a rimmed sheet pan, toss the diced sweet potato with 1 tablespoon of oil and bake for 30 minutes, until tender.
  2. Once the potatoes are in the oven, check the cook time on the fish sticks package. Add the fish sticks to the sheet pan for their recommended baking time, tossing the potatoes beforehand. (For example, if the fish sticks need 20 minutes, add them after the potatoes have been cooking for 10 minutes.)
  3. While those bake, mix the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and palm sugar in a small bowl.
  4. Remove the sweet potato and fish sticks from the oven and cut the fish fingers into thirds on the diagonal.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high and cook the lap cheong for 1 minute. Add the baby corn and broccolini and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sweet potato and sesame seeds and prepared sauce and cook until the sauce has absorbed into the ingredients.
  6. Stir in the fish sticks and cilantro, then taste and season with salt if needed. Serve immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • yams365
  • andrea s
    andrea s
Lara Lee

Recipe by: Lara Lee

Lara Lee is a Chinese-Indonesian and Australian chef and food writer. She is the author of Indonesian cookbook Coconut & Sambal, and a contributor for Food52, Bon Appetit, the Guardian and New York Times. Her book was named one of the best cookbooks of 2020 by the NYT, Guardian, Eater, National Geographic and more. When she's not cooking, you'll find her teaching Indonesian words to her toddler Jonah.

2 Reviews

yams365 May 27, 2023
I love this recipe! As a kid from Indonesia, I loved fish sticks growing up so this was such a treat to make as an adult. This has been added to my regular rotation of dinners. When I have extra time, I like to make it with fried rice.
andrea S. October 18, 2022
A surprising gem! This was better than I expected with the eclectic ingredients. I enjoyed the crispy Lap Cheong bits and the different veggies. My hubby said more broccoli (I'm not a shrubbery fan). The sweet potato cubes were done a few minutes early. I'll probably make again when we have more fish sticks.