Sweet and Sour Fish- Whole Fish

Home style Chinese sweet and sour fish –Tang Cu Yu (糖醋鱼).

If you ever enjoyed a Chinese Spring Festival eve dinner with a Chinese family, you may have tasted this fish already. Chinese people loves to cook fish as a whole for holidays. The pronunciation for the Chinese character “鱼”(fish) is the same as “余”(remain), which is meaning we have things left after the whole year’s hard work.

sweet and sour fish |chinasichuanfood.com

Chinese home cooking is very different from restaurant style. For home cooking version, we want to simplified the process and achieve a good taste. However, in restaurants, chefs are talented at all types of techniques (cutting, presentation, tuning flavors) and they will present those skills via different types of dishes. Artistic conception is extremely important to famous Chinese dishes. So you can find the fish cut into lots of smaller strips (extend the surface so we can have more shells), looks like chrysanthemum. If you ever visit China, I highly recommend trying that lovely version in a restaurant and you will know what I am talking about.

However, it is possible to  achieve a quite satisfying result at home without the advanced cutting technique and professional tools.

sweet and sour fish |chinasichuanfood.com

Cook’s Note

  1. When marinating the fish, do not ignore the inside part of the fish. If your fish has a black tissue attached, remove them.
  2. The sauce should be prepared  simultaneously with the frying process of the fish, otherwise the fish may turn moist again and lost the crispy texture. 
  3. Eat it up as soon as possible.

Ingredients

  • 1 smaller fish (750g around)
  • leek onion shreds, for decoration
  • 1 tbsp. Chinese cooking wine or beer
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 thumb ginger, shredded
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • oil for deep-frying
  • 4 tbsp. tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 tbsp. vegetable cooking oil
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. rice vinegar or 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. chopped scallion
  • 1 tsp. chopped ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch + 1 tbsp. water

Instructions

Clean the fish and then make 3- to 4 vertical cuts on the fish firstly. And then turn over the cuts and make 2 smaller cuts on the chunk. We are doing this for better flavoring and more crsipy shells.sweet and sour fish |chinasichuanfood.com

Spread salt and cooking wine on the fish both on the surface and inside. Then place scallion and ginger shreds inside the fish cuts and marinate for 30 minutes.

sweet and sour fish |chinasichuanfood.com

Clean the fish and remove scallion and ginger sections.Heat oil in a wok until 160 degree C. Coat the fish with cornstarch. Remember to coat the smaller cuts we made in step 1 too. Set aside for 5 minutes.

sweet and sour fish |chinasichuanfood.com(optional) Hold the fish tail and let the head down, and then drizzle the hot oil on the fish meat to help fix the shape.sweet and sour fish |chinasichuanfood.com

Place the fish in and fry until golden brown. Turn over twice. Keep slow fire all the time. This process may take 6-8 minutes depending on your fire.sweet and sour fish |chinasichuanfood.com

During the process of deep-frying, prepare another smaller pot, add all the ingredients for sweet and sour sauce expect starch water and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in starch water and cook until the sauce is well thickened.sweet and sour fish |chinasichuanfood.com

Transfer the fish to a serving plate and then drizzle the sweet and sour sauce. Enjoy as soon as possible. sweet and sour fish |chinasichuanfood.com

Sweet and Sour Fish

Sweet and sour fish

Ingredients

  • 1 smaller fish (750g around)
  • leek onion shreds, for decoration
  • 1 tbsp. Chinese cooking wine or beer
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 thumb ginger, shredded
  • ¼ cup of cornstarch
  • oil for deep-frying

Sauce

  • 4 tbsp. tomato ketchup
  • ½ tbsp. vegetable cooking oil
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. rice vinegar or 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp. chopped scallion
  • 1 tsp. chopped ginger
  • ½ tbsp. cornstarch + 1 tbsp. water

Instructions

  1. Clean the fish and then make 3-4 vertical cuts on the fish firstly. And then turn over the fish and make 2 smaller cuts on the chunk. We are doing this for better flavoring and more shells.
  2. Spread salt and cooking wine on the fish both on the surface and inside. Then place scallion and ginger shreds inside the fish and marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. Clean the fish and remove scallion and ginger sections.
  4. Heat oil in a wok until 160 degree C.
  5. Coat the fish with cornstarch. Remember to coat the smaller cuts we made in step 1 too. Set aside for 2-3 minutes.
  6. (optional) Hold the fish tail and let the head down, and then drizzle the hot oil on the fish meat to help fix the shape. Place the fish in and fry until golden brown. Turn over twice. Keep slow fire all the time. This process may take 6-8 minutes depending on your fire.
  7. During the process of deep-frying, prepare another smaller pot, add all the ingredients for sweet and sour sauce expect starch water and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in starch water and cook until the sauce is well thickened.
  8. Drizzle the sweet and sour sauce after the fish is transfer to serving plate.
  9. Place some leek onion shreds for decorating.

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sweet and sour fish |chinasichuanfood.comsweet and sour fish |chinasichuanfood.com

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