Fish is a staple food in China and other parts of Asia. We are lucky to be home to most of the best fish species in the global scene. No wonder, we have enough to feed us and the global market as well.
China has provinces along the sea and lakes. Such provinces have most of their staple food being fish and all other forms of seafood. Today, we look at the different fish recipes.
The most common method of food preparation here is stir-frying, steaming and deep frying. The same methods are often used to prepare the fish.
Believes In Regards To The Service of Fish
The Mandarin translation for fish is Yu. This refers to abundance, affluence and prosperity in Chinese. Therefore, fish is equated to abundance in China.
When you are serving fish back home, we prefer the whole fish as opposed to fish cuts. The whole fish symbolizes prosperity and that everything you do and plan will end up well.
Although the are many methods of fish preparations, the steaming method is the most popular one. We believe that for you to taste all of the fish goodness, steaming method is the way to go.
In fact, all of our expensive and high-quality fish is best cooked by steaming method while the low-quality ones are deep fried. This method covers up the bad odor of fish and hides its probably bad taste.
- The Chinese steamed fish
This is simply the traditional recipe and the easiest to make. For the authentic results, you ought to pick the fish right from the tank and steam it after cleaning. You should use the soy sauce, scallion and cilantro for marination.
Nothing beats its texture that is not only delicate but also tender and silky. The common steaming style that most Chinese use is the Cantonese steaming method.
While steaming method seems quite easy, you should know the tricks, techniques and ingredients to use.
- Chinese pan-fried fish
This makes the restaurant style kind of fish which is also popular across the globe. Although we love to serve our fish in whole pieces, we also serve it sliced and in fillet form.
This makes one of the easiest fish cooking methods. When you are working with the fish fillet, you should always choose high-quality white fish.
I often buy red snapper, rockfish, grouper, halibut and my favorite tilapia. If you will get any white fish that has a firm fillet you are good to go in pan frying. Notice that your fish fillets don’t come with skin but those that do are the best since they skin becomes crispy and crunchy.
- Stir-fried Gai lan with fish cake and lap cheong
Although this one focuses more on the method you employ to cook your broccoli, it’s still a great way to eat the fish. Gai lan refers to broccoli in Chinese. The meal is delicious, tasty and full of flavors.
This is the best way to eat your vegetable and you will enjoy it with your steamed rice. Broccoli is generally common in the Cantonese cuisine. The general method of cooking the broccoli is blanching it then stir-frying with garlic.
However, when you are bored with your usual style just stir-fry it with some fish fillet pieces for a change. The gai lan absorbs the juices and flavors of both lap cheong and fish cakes. Remember to use the shiitake mushroom to enhance the flavors.
- Stir-fried fish fillet with ginger
This is another one of the famous style of cooking fish. You should only use when your fish has a strong odor. Additionally, you should use ginger to help kill/cover the foul smell. Stir-frying is preferred for most other seafood cooking for the same reasons.
It takes you about 10 minutes to marinate the fish according to your desires. After the 10minutes, you can then place the fish fillets onto the hot wok and quickly cook your fish.
The good thing about this is that cooking the meal is quick and you will have evenly cooked pieces of fish. Like the above fish choice, use any of your firm fillet fish selection. This will help to maintain its form while it’s cooking.
This is a recipe that is popular with people who are in the eastern part of China. For this recipe, it’s best to go only for the white type of fish. You should know now that the combination of both the sweet and sour sauces are common in Asian cuisine.
When you are looking to make the sweet and sour recipe you may use it on a fish fillet and whole fish as well. The traditional Cantonese style though calls for a whole fish in the recipe.
The common kind of fish that we use in the recipe is grouper although you may also use red snapper. Moreover, if the only fish you have access to is tilapia, go ahead and use it because it will equally work.
- Soybean paste fish
This is another one of the fish recipes that will have you licking your fingers when you are done cooking. The cooking process further takes a very short while. In 30 minutes, you have your fish on the table.
The major ingredient you use is soybeans which will help you make the paste. You are even allowed to pair it with other ingredients like tofu if you so like. You are going to use the pan-frying method of cooking.
You can take the grouper, red snapper, tilapia, cod and rockfish among others for this recipe. Of course, the best fish choice is white fish but you can also use salmon or trout.
- Ginger garlic baked salmon
You should know that besides ginger and scallion combination another common combination is ginger and garlic. Although most people go for white fish, salmon is equally popular in China.
What I like most about it is the fact that it is quick and easy to prepare. Don’t forget also that it’s damn delicious. The salmon maintains its moisture flavors as well as juices.
The ginger and garlic paste is a favorite in the Asian cuisine and for a reason, it has a great influence on the taste and aroma of your food. I’m sure you are not new to this recipe as I see it being cooked even in the West.
- Oven baked salmon with honey ginger glaze
Another version of Asian salmon to try is this one. The fish will become so good and buttery. It’s further easy to make and loved across and beyond Asia. This is a quick recipe for them who have tight schedules. It will take you not more than 20 minutes to cook the salmon.
Of course, this Asian inspired recipe looks a little complex although it’s quite easy to make. You may enjoy it with your rice, steamed veggies or potatoes. I love the crunchy outer texture of the salmon. The fish will melt in your mouth with a burst of flavors from the glaze.
- Asian salmon in foil
I believe that for you to have great results with your salmon, you should always use the foil paper as this will ensure that all your flavors are sealed within the meal. It’s further easy to make because all you have to do every so often is to toss the foil.
In the end, you will have a tender fish with all the flavors locked within the fish. You may use any flavors of your choice including honey, sriracha, ginger and garlic among others. other must have ingredients include the sesame oil and soy sauce.
- Grandma’s Shanghai smoked fish
Smoking of fish was used as a form of preservation for the same for a long time. However, in my country, this was a traditional method of preparing the fish. This is one of the favorite styles of making the fish.
In real essence, the fish is not really smoked but its interior is made tender and it retains the slightly smoky yet spicy flavor. On the outside, it remains crispy and delicious. For the success of this recipe, you need the freshwater fish that has thick flesh.
In most cases, you may use the carp fish either the big headed one or the grass carp. This recipe calls for the use of five spice powder in the marination. You will then deep fry it to cook the inner part.
- Curry fish balls
If you have taken a walk across the streets of Hong Kong you will have seen street balls somewhere. You may eat them as snacks while in making a curry out of it, you can use it in the company of noodles and rice to make the main meal.
They almost take the shape of the egg waffles in the streets of Hong Kong. Millions of these pieces are sold each day. the curry sauce makes you just want some more. It’s delicious, spicy and hot with the right crunchy texture.
- Chinese boiled fish recipe
When it comes to the boiling of the fish, no one does it best as the people of Sichuan. Fish fillet is used for this recipe and it further has the different spices of choice added to influence the flavor and taste.
You have to marinate the fish then poach it. The fish becomes tender succulent and bursting with flavors. Considering that it’s a Sichuanese style of fish, you expect the numbing sensation on the fish. But what’s more, important is that it’s easy to cook for you.
- Water boiled fish with tofu
You all know what tofu means to us. The fact that it’s added to our boiling fish is a plus to the meal. The good thing about the Sichuan style boiled fish is that although it’s naturally spicy, you have the control on how spicy you want it.
This recipe will then use the green Sichuan peppercorn as opposed to the red ones. Although it also uses the dried chilies you should limit the level of hotness to make sure it doesn’t overpower your fish.
Mala is further great because it will infuse a level of smokiness to the fish. This is a great recipe for you if you are looking to reduce the oil you consume.
- Spicy Sichuan fish soup
This is your most famous Sichuan dish and of course, the fact that it’s spicy is a characteristic of the Sichuanese cuisine. In simple terms, this is a blend of garlic, ginger, Sichuan peppercorns et cetera.
The result of this blend is a numbing sensation with a level of hotness and a burst of flavors. You get to enjoy the fish and a high-quality soup. You will make this type of fish with the fish fillets and a balance of ingredients here and there.
- Spring onion braised fish
I must say coming from a family that is so concerned about health and fitness, this is about the best fish we can eat. You might know it but the difference that the spring onions add to your meal is big.
This one basically uses the spring onion to enhance the flavor and improve the scent as well as soy sauce to color the fish and enrich it even more. You will have a flavorful tender and delicious fish. Braising is best done for your whole fish and you can serve it with your white rice.
- Quick and easy fish stew recipe
For most people, this is your on the go-to recipe when you are thinking of making the fish fast. It’s the easiest method of making fish and especially tilapia.
Whether you wish to make your fillets or whole fish is upon you because the results are actually the same. Here you will need onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes and any other ingredients you wish to use. In Shanghai we even use tofu in the recipe.
I would agree that this is one of the traditional methods of cooking tilapia and other firm fillet fish. You only need to flash fry it and then begin the stewing process. For the stew, you will let the pot simmer for a while before it’s all ready.
- The Chinese homemade fish balls
You will all agree with me that fish balls are popular across Asia, right?
The secret is to use the fresh fish becaue that ensures your fish balls aren’t fishy. There are certain kinds of fish that will give you the right bouncy texture for the fish balls. Nevertheless, understand that the process of making your own fish balls at home is time-consuming.
You will need the fish paste which you make using very few ingredients. Remember, the finer the paste the better. You are reaching for a springy and bouncy consistency.
- Chinese-Malaysian fish head curry
Although curries are not as common in China as they are in Thai and India, we have our own favorite Chinese fish curry that you may try. For a great curry, you will need the fish steaks (fish without bones).
It should take you a short time to quickly make this recipe at home. Remember to use coconut milk which will enhance your fish flavors. The curry is not only thick and richly flavored but it’s also filling.
- Chinese style oven baked fish
This is closely related to the regular Chinese steamed fish. Here you simply use sesame oil and ginger to season your fish fillet. The secret here is that your fish steams using its own juices in the oven and at the end of the cooking process you sprinkle the juices on the fish.
You may then add the onions and scallions to further flavor the fish. The cooking process is unbelievably easy and yet you retain all the flavors you desire in the fish. This is especially ideal for those who are reluctant to eat fish with their heads on.
- Chinese fish soup recipe
This is one of the delicious soups to use as your appetizer or desserts. In this recipe, all you need is the fish heads and tail. Some people will deep fry it first while others just boil it together with your favorite ingredients.
Remember the secret to making a great Chinese meal is in using vast spices. Nevertheless, make sure the ingredients you use do not overpower the fish here.
- Chinese fish fingers
I think it’s true to say that almost every single person loves fish fingers. They are often crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. These ones work as your appetizers or just snacks. Making them is easy and shouldn’t take you much time.
You only need to dip the fish in a blend of ingredients for marination then into the eggs and coat it with breadcrumbs. Simple right? Remember you may eat them with soy sauce as a dipping sauce. You have no excuse to making the finger licking fish fingers if you follow these recipes.
- Grilled fish
Grilling is slowly becoming a common method of cooking across the board. And I must say when you have the right ingredients for the Chinese style of fish you will be addicted to the grilling style.
The secret is to use the Chinese five spice powder soy sauce and ginger for the grilling process. There’s no restriction as to which fish you may use, in this case, if you know how to grill
- Brown sugar glazed tilapia
Sometimes all you need is creativity to make yourself an authentic and richly flavored meal. The tilapia fish is loved by most but unless you are creative it may become just another boring fish.
The fish should take you just a few minutes to prepare and with a few ingredients, you can have a rich and tasty dish.
- Fish Manchurian – Indo Chinese Fish Recipe
This is another one of the easy recipes to make that brings two countries together. China and Indian. The recipe is as simple as fish seasoning with spices then cooking it in the rich Manchurian recipe.
To describe this one, it tastes sweet, spicy and richly flavored with a blend of spices from the two countries. The good thing is that this is an easy to make recipe at home.
- Steamed fish with black bean sauce
This is for all our friends who enjoy eating fish. This is another recipe that is not only richly textured but the additional black beans make the difference. The fish is now spicy, tasty with a balance of flavors and rich texture.
- Crispy Sichuan New Zealand Snapper (Pink Sea Bream)
Wherever we are it’s always nice to try a taste of home. This one helps you modify the sauce to simply fit the snapper in NZ. With the right Chinese style seasoning, you will have the authentic Sichuan numbing flavor and taste.
- Braised Fish in Spicy Black Bean Sauce
The one thing about Asian cuisine is that apart from being spicy you are never without new options to try. Of course, soybeans and black beans are common in our homes, so how about put them to use?
Simply put you only need to pan fry the fish before you begin using the different seasonings to cook it the Chinese way.