Braise Fish – Chinese Style Hong Shao Yu

Hong Shao in English braise is a very important cooking method of Chinese Cooking Techniques, before we begin the braise fish recipe. Let’s talk more about braising.

What is braising?

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Braising is enhancing and maximally concentrating the flavors of the vegetables or meat by simmering it in a liquid and covering your put, and reducing the heat to low temperatures. It delivers delicious food with minimum effort.

Braising is best associated with harsh and brutal meat, like the ribs, slow-cooked short ribs, chicken, or pot roast.

Usually, we fail to mention fish in this category because fish has a tender texture, and especially the small ones cannot be used at any time.

Needles said some of the fishes you can still braise like salmon, snapper, and cod.

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Although you can always braise any fish you like, I recommend using large and firm fish.

But if you choose to use the tender fish fillets such as catfish and cod, maybe you should consider reducing the cooking time or rolling the fillet before adding it in the pan, making sure it’s also tight.

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This recipe will use the sea bass as our main dish, so what exactly is a sea bass?

It’s a white fish primarily found in the sea and has a subtle flavor. You find it in most restaurants, but it also can be cooked at home, and it is straightforward. Seabass work excellently with sweet flavors from the vegetables or acidic components like lemon juice and vinegar.

The best way to go about it is to serve it with a good sauce and a side dish of potatoes or lentils.

Sea bass popularity has made its availability possible from the supermarkets and also to the local fishmonger. A fresh fishmonger has clear eyes, shiny and intact skin, and bright red gills.

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Ingredients: 1 sea bass, four slices of ginger, three cloves of garlic, three shallots, and half a red pepper, One spoon of dark soy sauce, two spoons of light soy sauce, one spoon of vinegar, one spoon of caster sugar, one spoon of cooking wine, a little pepper,1 cup of dry wine, and some salt.

how to braise fish:

  1. you have the option to buy a whole sea bass or a sea bass fillet. If you buy a whole one, you can ask your fishmonger to clean the sea bass or make it yourself.  

braised fish step1

Using a sharp knife eliminates the scales and gills and removes the internal organs as they give a bitter taste and create more room to add your cavities and herbs or lemon slices.

Make a few strokes on both sides of the fish. This prevents the fish from tearing unevenly.

  1. As with all the fishes, before you cook it, remember to season it with salt generously, and you can also Add the other flavors like cooking wine, pepper, and ginger for marination let it rest for 10 minutes.

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  1. Cut the green onion, ginger, garlic, and red pepper separately.

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  1. Add light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, vinegar, refined sugar, and salt to a small bowl and mix well, and set aside.

braised fish step4

 

  1. Add some oil to the pan and heat the oil, then add the fish and fry for 5 minutes until golden brown on both sides. Then set aside the sea bass.

braised fish step5

  1. Use the oil left in the pan after frying the fish. Add green onion, ginger, garlic, and frequently stir in medium heat. You will notice some pleasant aroma generating from the combo of onion, ginger, and garlic, and also, when it is ready, you will notice a brown color.

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  1. Still in the pan, add the sauce and the braising liquid, in this case, the cup of wine. Continue stirring the mixture from the bottom of the pan with a wooden stick until they are fully dissolved and browned.

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  1. Grab your fish set aside, and add it to the mixture with any accumulated mixture; take note you are braising and not boiling; therefore, the fish should not be covered with the liquid.

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  1. Leave the mixture to boil for a few minutes, lower the heat to medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Please make sure you constantly check on the fish and turn it over so that both sides can equally cook.

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      10.Please leave it to cook until the soup is thick and the fish meat is soft. Top the sea bass with shredded red pepper and shredded green onion before serving.

Advantages and disadvantages of using braising for your fish

Advantages

1. It creates a mass of flavor in your dish

Since the fish is exposed to a low to medium heat cooking process that will enhance the insertion of flavors into the fish, it makes the fish tender; thus, you get to enjoy your meal all the way.

2. It enables the presentation of multiple recipes.

You can almost use any fish also vegetables, and spices, thus allow you to be creative with your dishes and also the recipe

Disadvantages

1. Fish may luck the desired texture

the fish may fail to be crunchy or crispy because of the slow cooking, which interferes with the texture of the fish. But it is essential to note that if it lacks texture, the flavors can substitute it as it retains it.

2. Reduces the content of fish nutrients

The fish is cooked and low heat; thus, it prolongs the time the fish will be ready. This impacts the nutrients content, which is also reduced. It causes the fish to leach into the liquid. This shunt is much of a problem as long as the liquid is left in the braising fish. a

TIPS:

  • you have to consider the type of liquid to use while braising, which could include milk, wine, tomato sauce, only make sure that the liquid does not cover the food. If there are remnants of the liquid, use it in making the sauce
  • Both light soy sauce and dark soy sauce have a substantial amount of salt. You can add salt or not. It hugely depends on a person’s taste buds and also the preference.
  • You can add hot pepper to spice your food. If you are a fan of hot and spice, it takes the fish flavor to the next level.
  • Once you have mastered the techniques of braising a fish, you can try it with other fish to like halibut, striped bass, black sea bass, grouper barramundi. So as you try out these fishes, remember they vary with texture thickness; hence the time used to make the fish could differ that way, you have to constantly check on it while cooking
  • to check if the fish is ready, use a paring knife so that you can take a note of the flesh in between the fillet. Watch out for the color in the middle, which should be translucent, indicating that the fish is almost cooked. The fish will continue cooking, and by the time you are done with your source, the fish should be ready.
  • Consider using fillet that is ¾ to an inch thick they are the very best for braising. However, the long thin ones can also do.
  • Be careful not to overcook your fish because once you do that, no amount of liquid will make it tender hence you will have spoiled your broth.
  • If you can’t find sea bass in the supermarket, try the frozen fish section to find the barramundi. If not, you get the mild white fish.
  • Use a heavily stainless steel skillet. It is incredible when preparing pan sauce and deglazing. Nonstick skillet or iron skillet works well too.

Frequently asked questions

Is it okay to eat the skin of sea bass?

Most people prefer cooking it, but others would instead peel the skin off. However, cooking with the skin has its importance as it protects the flesh from getting toned apart.

The skin is equally pleasant to eat when it is nicely done and crispy. Therefore, the skin is edible, and in that regard, do not peel the skin off, plus it also has nutritional benefits.  

Is braising any different from boiling?

Braising is always done with vegetables, fish, or meat. It uses a small amount of liquid in low heat, mainly wine, broth, or stock. It enhances the fish by making it tender and also adds a crispier finish.

Boiling involves liquid that covers the pot and is responsible for making the food tender and not crispier. It uses heat to transfers the liquid in the food being cooked. It requires a lot of heat to boil and primarily uses water as its liquid.

 

So it is okay to say that boiling and braising are not the same.

Can your oven cook after simmering in the pot?

Yes, you can put your simmered fish in the oven as the last step in a 325 degrees preheated oven. This also enhances the flavors and further makes the fish tender, especially if it’s a thick fish but be watchful not to overcook it.

My thoughts

Braising fish is a fascinating, fun way to cook your fish, plus it saves time and energy you might have used during boiling. And the liquid used in braising is a plus as it adds a blasting flavor to the fish and blends perfectly with all the other ingredients.

This recipe is delicious and fresh; light up those dinner moments by preparing the recipe can be one epic recipe to wow your loved ones and who knows a favorite dinner dish, so why not stop by and try the recipe.  

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Braised fish

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 sea bass
  • four slices of ginger
  • three cloves of garlic
  • three shallots
  • half a red pepper
  • One spoon of dark soy sauce
  • two spoons of light soy sauce
  • one spoon of vinegar
  • one spoon of caster sugar
  • one spoon of cooking wine
  • a little pepper
  • 1 cup dry wine
  • some salt

Instructions

  • You have the option to buy a whole sea bass or a sea bass fillet. If you buy a whole one, you can ask your fishmonger to clean the sea bass or make it yourself. Using a sharp knife eliminates the scales and gills and removes the internal organs as they give a bitter taste and create more room to add your cavities and herbs or lemon slices.Make a few strokes on both sides of the fish. This prevents the fish from tearing unevenly.
  • As with all the fishes, before you cook it, remember to season it with salt generously, and you can also Add the other flavors like cooking wine, pepper, and ginger for marination let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Cut the green onion, ginger, garlic, and red pepper separately.
  • Add light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, vinegar, refined sugar, and salt to a small bowl and mix well, and set aside.
  • Add some oil to the pan and heat the oil, then add the fish and fry for 5 minutes until golden brown on both sides. Then set aside the sea bass.
  • Use the oil left in the pan after frying the fish. Add green onion, ginger, garlic, and frequently stir in medium heat. You will notice some pleasant aroma generating from the combo of onion, ginger, and garlic, and also, when it is ready, you will notice a brown color.
  • Still in the pan, add the sauce and the braising liquid, in this case, the cup of wine. Continue stirring the mixture from the bottom of the pan with a wooden stick until they are fully dissolved and browned.
  • Grab your fish set aside, and add it to the mixture with any accumulated mixture; take note you are braising and not boiling; therefore, the fish should not be covered with the liquid.
  • Leave the mixture to boil for a few minutes, lower the heat to medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Please make sure you constantly check on the fish and turn it over so that both sides can equally cook.
  • Please leave it to cook until the soup is thick and the fish meat is soft. Top the sea bass with shredded red pepper and shredded green onion before serving.
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