Chinese Squirrel Mandarin Fish Recipe

I like festive seasons because you get to experience some of the best and most unique Chinese foods like squirrel fish. You will always have bright and yet tasty fish.

If you are looking for the most delicious and yet unique fish style. Therefore, it will amaze you, but the meal we have here is sweet, sour, and outrightly delicious.

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If you’re going to learn this recipe, you will have a lot of friends very soon. They will mostly enjoy the squirrel fish style.

Squirrel fish is a unique mandarin fish that takes the shape of a squirrel. It’s usually a deep-fried fish and its widespread delicacy across and outside China.

Most people like it most because of its appearance. It’s further an eye-catching choice of fish that takes the orange hue, and most people like it a lot for being bone-free.

Contrary to what you would think, it contains no squirrel meat, you know. Instead, it features the use of freshwater fish, like yellow croaker carp or mandarin fish.

The reason why people choose it, though, is because of its firm white flesh meat. You will like it the most because it has a clean taste, but the flavors are everything.

You will like it a lot more just because you first debone the fish before you start to cook it.

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How did this fish then earn this name?

There was an emperor who wasn’t allowed to eat the squirrel fish by law. However, he wanted it, so he went against the set law and ordered the fish. This is going to be the best choice, and it’s even popular in the dynasty.

In other instances, this fish meal has been traced back to the Qing dynasty and particularly during the rule of Qianlong. At the time, he had been on an extensive tour, and he caught sight of the energetic carp, and the fish was what the emperor wanted to try.

So, then he ordered them to cook it at once, and they cooked the fish. If you want to have the hot oil, then thus deep frying it with this, the fish acquired the squirrel shape. Like anyone, the shape bemused the emperor, and from then, they called it squirrel fish.

However, as for many new meals, this was just one of the hot stories regarding its name. For some people, the name came from the squirrel-like squeaks that the fish attains when you bathe them in the hot oil. So, most people get the fish just because it serves you with fresh pine nuts.

You should expect that it’s soft inside and then crunchy crispy outside.

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Which particular fish do they use?

As we have mentioned above, there’s no squirrel meat in the fish, and in most cases, it uses the common carp yellow croaker and much other styled fish. Sometimes they even use the mandarin fish.

When you’re then going to take it, remember that the fish should always be moist on the inside. One thing you should know is that they are continually using fleshy fish.

The other unique thing about it is the sauce they serve it with is the color that comes in a rich red-orange hue. The good thing, though, is that you will enjoy the flavors as well. It’s a blend of sweet but also slightly tangy flavors.

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How to make the squirrel fish Chinese


  • 1 mandarin fish,
  • 3 slices of ginger,
  • 1 small piece of green onion,
  • 1 spoon of salt,
  • 2 spoons of cooking wine,
  • A little pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce,
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar,
  • A little salt,
  • A little corn starch,
  • A little vegetable grain (carrot, corn, pea),
  • A little water starch,
  • And a little cooking oil.


  1. Remove the scales, gills, fins, and internal organs of Mandarin fish and rinse them. With this, then you are going to have cleaned it right. In most cases, you will debone the fish using a knife in the middle of the fish. Next, then you should be ready to start cooking it.

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  1. Cut off the fish’s head and cut it into three pieces from the middle along the fishbone with a knife. Do not cut the tail. In most cases, you will have the fish just cut into two parts. In most cases, you want to make the diamond shape of the fish.

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  1. Use a knife to cut off the fishbone in the middle, and then remove the blood and thorns in the middle of the fish belly. You want it to be a fillet-like choice of fish, remember. It will

squirrel fish chinese step3

  1. Cut the fish skin side down at equal distances on the fish, do not cut off the fish skin.

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  1. After cutting, adjust the direction of the fish and cut diagonally in the opposite direction.

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  1. The fish’s skin is intact after being cut, and the flesh of the fish is in a diamond pattern.

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  1. Put the fish head, the cut fish body, and the cut fish pieces into a large bowl. Add ginger, green onion, cooking wine, salt, and pepper to mix and marinate for a while. Remember, this is what will give it the rich flavors. Marinate for about 30 minutes.

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  1. Pour an appropriate amount of cornstarch on the plate, coat the fish evenly with cornstarch, and shake off the excess cornstarch.

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  1. Pour the oil that can submerge the fish in the pot, heat it to 70% hot on medium-high heat. Next, put the fish body coated with cornstarch into the pot and fry it.

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  1. Fry it until both sides are golden brown. You want to make sure both sides cook right.

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  1. Then, put the fish meat and fish heads cut into small pieces, put them in a frying pan, and fry them out.

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(The fish head and the fried fish body are placed on a plate, and the fried fish pieces can be eaten directly. You will like that it’s enriching and with a rich fragrance.

  1. Leave the bottom oil in the pot, add the tomato sauce, stir well, and then add water. You should have the image we show you below. With this, then you will have it being sweet-tangy but also a moist, delicious meal.

squirrel fish chinese step12

  1. Add sugar and salt to taste. You want a balance of sweetness and then saltiness.

squirrel fish chinese step13

  1. Add vegetable pellets and bring to a boil over high heat. With this, then you are going to have it cook right. Make sure you are cooking it for a few minutes to simmer.

squirrel fish chinese step14

  1. Add water starch to thicken, stir and cook until the soup is thick and out of the pot. Of course, you are always looking for a way to have the pieces being rich and perfectly delicious.

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  1. Pour the cooked soup on the shaped fish while it is hot. And, of course, this is what will bring the picture-perfect squirrel fish, and the sauce makes it utterly delicious.

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  1. Mandarin fish should be bought a little fatter; too small, or flatfish is not easy to cut.
  2. When handling mandarin fish, use a kitchen cloth to hold the fish body and then cut it crosswise to prevent slippage and easier operation.
  3. When cutting the knife on the fish, be careful not to cut the skin.
  4. Notice that the dish you are having here will need meticulous chopping and cutting. So, then you can cut off the fins, the scales, and such like things. Remember then to add the flavorings that will make you then enjoy the meal. So, then you can add the delicious Shaoxing wine to make it even delicious.

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Deep fryer

While you can use the pot on the stovetop to cook the fish, you don’t always have to because you can use the deep fryer for the same. It will deliver an excellent fish meal, but you can use it for other things you like.

Consider using the Hamilton Beach Professional Grade Electric Deep Fryer if you want to fry everything deep faster and quickly. The good thing, though, is that then you will have temperature being easy to control.

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Squirrel Fish Chinese

I like festive seasons because you get to experience some of the best and most unique Chinese foods like squirrel fish. You will always have bright and yet tasty fish. If you are looking for the most delicious and yet unique fish style. Therefore, it will amaze you, but the meal we have here is sweet, sour, and outrightly delicious.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 1 mandarin fish
  • 3 slices ginger
  • 1 small piece of green onion
  • 1 spoon of salt
  • 2 spoons of cooking wine
  • A little pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • A little salt
  • A little corn starch
  • A little vegetable grain carrot, corn, pea
  • A little water starch
  • And a little cooking oil


  • Prepare the fish by removing the scales and the fins, then cutting it into three parts as you also debone it. Next, use the knife to remove the bones and the blood. Next, then you will need to cut it and dice it diagonally.
  • You will need to add the cornstarch to the fish to coat it. Also, shake off the excess cornstarch.
  • Heat your deep-frying oil, and then start to fry the fish. You want it to be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
  • Set the oil on the pan and then add the tomato sauce they make with water. Keep heating it too. You ought to bring the flavors from the varying ingredients. In most cases, it's better off being tangy. Add sugar to sweeten it and salt to balance the flavors.
  • As it's cooking, you should add the vegetable pellets then add the cornstarch to thicken it. Keep on stirring to have the right consistency.
  • Now pour the sauce over the fish cuts to finally finish cooking it right. With this, then you will have the perfect colors too. Finally, serve hot with your favorite accompaniments.
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