This braised fish dish is not too spicy, making it suitable for children and the elderly.
Shui zhu yu, or Sichuan-style boiled fish, may be all the rage these days, but the more homely, traditional braised fish in Sichuan bean paste is what chef Zeng Feng, 50, executive chef of Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant at Parkroyal on Beach Road, recommends.
He says: “Not everyone can handle mala flavours and the braised fish dish is not too spicy. It is suitable for children as well as the elderly.” He serves it in the restaurant, priced from $10 for 100g (Chinese New Year price $12 for 100g) for sea bass.
Braised fish in Sichuan bean paste
- 1 whole sea bass
- 150ml oil
- 50g bean paste (Pi Xian doubanjiang from Yue Hwa Chinese Products)
- 20g ginger
- 10g spring onion
- 20g garlic
- 400ml water
- Soya sauce to taste
- 30g sugar
- 20ml huatiao wine
- Salt to taste
- 20g cornstarch
- 20ml vinegar
- Wash the fish and pat dry with paper towels.
- In a wok, heat the oil over high heat. Place the fish in the wok, frying on each side till it is cooked and the skin is golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- To the remaining oil in the wok, add the bean paste, ginger, spring onion and garlic. Stir-fry for a few minutes until fragrant. Then add water, soya sauce, sugar, wine and salt. Finally, add the fish to cook in the sauce for a few minutes.
- Remove the fish and place on a platter. Add cornstarch to the sauce so it thickens, then stir in the vinegar.
- Pour the sauce over the fish and serve hot.
Serves four to six
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 11, 2018, with the headline ‘Chefs’ festive favourites’.