At the risk of making this sound like a joke, Chinese people will “red cook” anything.  The thing is I’m serious. Whether it’s pork, beef, squid, tofu, or eggs, we can red cook it. On a basic level, that means cooking in a mix of soy sauce and a sweetener (sugar, rock candy, or honey). The recipes vary a little depending on what you are cooking. Sometimes you add ginger, garlic, scallions, orange peel, cilantro, chilies, or a combination of those things. While the ingredient list is so similar, many of these Red Cooked dishes come out tasting very different. (Try Red Cooked Pork Belly and Cuttlefish or Red Cooked Tee Pong.)  Right now, let’s talk Red Cooked Fish. It is a classic you’ll find in the home of most Chinese families. It’s also commonly sold at “real” Chinese restaurants. It’s a must know recipe!

Red Cooked Fish on grey

This is a pretty quick and easy dish to make, perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner. The sweet and salty sauce full of aromatics is irresistible and the extra sauce is fantastic on rice!

Red Cooked Fish mise en place

Red Cooked Fish
~serves 2 as a main, 4 as part of larger family style meal

  • 1 pound striped bass, cleaned
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 thin coins + scant 1/4 cup 1″ matchsticks ginger, divided
  • 1/4 cup rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large or 3 small scallions, cut into 2″ segments
  • rice to serve

Instructions  –

1. Score the fish and cut off the tail. Sprinkle a little flour on both sides. Set aside.

2. Heat a large wok on medium heat. Add the oil and swirl.

3. Add two thin coins of ginger and fish right on top. Fry for 3 minutes. Flip over and fry for another 2 minutes.

4. Add rice wine (be careful as smoke comes up) and swirl.

5. Add soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and sugar. Add 1/3 cup water. Give the wok another swirl.

6. Turn heat down to low. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Add scallion and continue cooking for 1 more minute.

7. Serve immediately with rice.

Red Cooked Fish 2

*note: fish does not make great left-overs








posted by jessica at 12:07 AM Filed under Chinese, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.