This is an old-fashioned but easy Cantonese dish that uses my favourite everyday meat (pork), salted fish (which I love in all its incarnations, from bacalhau and anchovies, to the type used here, haam yu) and one of my favourite vegetables, lotus root.
For the Chinese salted fish, choose a thick, moist and fleshy piece, rather than a chunk that's dry and bony. The minced pork shouldn't be too lean - if there's not enough fat, the dish will be dry.
Rinse the salted fish with warm water then pat it dry. Very finely mince the fish, pulling out and discarding any bones you find. Very finely chop the lotus root. Mince the ginger and spring onions.
Thoroughly combine the pork with the soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, salt and cornstarch, then mix in the salted fish, lotus root, ginger and spring onion. You can pan-fry the mixture immediately, but if you have time, refrigerate it for about an hour - this makes it easier to shape and cook.
Heat oil to the depth of about 3mm (⅛ in) in a skillet set over a medium flame. Working with damp hands, shape the meat mixture into patties about 5cm (2 in) in diameter and place them in the hot skillet. Pan-fry for about five minutes, or until the meat is cooked through, turning over the patties as they brown, and adjusting the flame as needed so the pieces don't burn. Blot the patties on paper towels, then pile them on a serving plate. Serve with a small bowl of brown vinegar as a dipping sauce.