This is a classic Hunan banquet preparation. It is important that this festive fish, once cooked, look as if it is swimming, even though it has been soh jah, fried crisp. So it is carefully arranged upright, as if about to dart away. This is meant to impress, and it does. Presenting any fish, in any context, is good luck to the Chinese. If it is swimming, it is considered good fortune of high order.
Recipe courtesy of Eileen Yin-Fei Lo
Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients

For the sauce:

Directions

Place the fish on a chopping board. Cut 5 slits diagonally into each side of the fish, but do not cut to the bone. Sprinkle vinegar all over, inside and out. Repeat with the wine, salt, and white pepper. Place the cornstarch on a sheet of wax paper and coat the fish thoroughly on both sides, including the cleaning opening.

Heat a wok over high heat for 40 seconds. Pour the oil into the wok and heat to 375 degrees F to 400 degrees F. Place the fish in a Chinese strainer and lower into the oil. (If it cannot be lowered completely, ladle oil over it and tip the strainer so the fish is completely cooked, brown and crisp, including the head.) Fry for 10 to 12 minutes, until cooked.

Remove to a heated serving dish. Use a cloth to protect your hands and place the fish upright, stomach and cleaning opening down. Press it down gently so that it is firmly set. Reserve. Empty all but 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil from the wok.

In a bowl, combine the sauce ingredients and set aside. Heat the wok for 20 seconds. Add the onion, stir, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the ginger and stir briefly. Add the chilies, carrot, and bamboo shoot. Stir the sauce, add to the wok and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Pour it over the fish, sprinkle with the scallion, garnish with the coriander, and serve.

IDEAS YOU'LL LOVE

Fish Tacos

Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay

Apple Crisp

Recipe courtesy of Muriel Ashley|Aimee Ashley

Fish en Papillote

Recipe courtesy of Melissa d'Arabian

Fish and Chips

Recipe courtesy of Anne Burrell

Fish with Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger

Parker's Fish and Chips

Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten

Cran-Apple Crisp

Recipe courtesy of Trisha Yearwood

English Chocolate Crisps

Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten

Fried Fish

Recipe courtesy of Hugo Mallone

Craveworthy Eats 3 Videos

Crave-Worthy Egg Sandwich 03:24

Claire puts her own spin on a bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich.

Browse Reviews By Keyword

          On TV

          The Pioneer Woman

          9:30am | 8:30c

          Cupcake Wars

          10am | 9c

          Cupcake Wars

          11am | 10c

          Cupcake Wars

          12pm | 11c

          The Pioneer Woman

          1:30pm | 12:30c

          Beat Bobby Flay

          2:30pm | 1:30c

          Beat Bobby Flay

          3:30pm | 2:30c

          Beat Bobby Flay

          4:30pm | 3:30c

          Chopped

          5pm | 4c

          Chopped

          6pm | 5c

          Chopped

          7pm | 6c

          Chopped

          8pm | 7c

          Chopped

          9pm | 8c
          On Tonight
          On Tonight

          Beat Bobby Flay

          10pm | 9c

          Beat Bobby Flay

          10:30pm | 9:30c

          Beat Bobby Flay

          11:30pm | 10:30c

          Chopped

          12am | 11c

          Beat Bobby Flay

          1:30am | 12:30c

          Beat Bobby Flay

          2:30am | 1:30c

          Chopped

          3am | 2c

          Mystery Diners

          4:30am | 3:30c

          Get Cooking