Braised Whole Fish with Pickled Chinese Mustard (suan cai)

酸菜炆鱸魚

Published: March 3, 2021

Braised fish is one of my frequently cooked dishes. My parents like to braise big chunks of grass carp with firm tofu. I prefer using smaller fish, such as Japanese seabass, yellow croaker or Chinese perch. Fish needs to be pan-fried till firm and golden brown then braised with other ingredients and sauces. Pan-fried fish plays the same important role as steamed fish in Chinese cuisine. Fresh fish, or ‘swimming fish’, is the crucial factor of tasty steamed fish, whereas when preparing pan-fried fish, I sometimes use frozen fish if I am in a busy day, because the sauce would cover some of the ‘unfreshness’ .

How to pan-fry whole fish

  1. Clean the fish inside out, remove all scales and trim the tail. You may ask your fish monger for help or you could do it yourself easily;
  2. Dry the fish with paper kitchen towel;
  3. Sprinkle a nip of salt on both sides of the fish, this can prevent fish sticking on the pan;
  4. Use a non-stick pan or wok is even better;
  5. Heat your pan in high heat, preheating is very important so make sure the pan is smoking-hot before adding oil in;
  6. Add more oil than your usual stir-fry or pan-fry, about 3-4 tablespoons. Move the pan to ensure oil spread evenly;
  7. Turn down to medium heat, put in the fish, let it pan-fry the first side for about 3 minutes. To check if it’s pan-fried nicely, slightly shake the pan to see if the fish can slide and loose from the pan. If it sticks, keep pan-frying for a few more minutes;
  8. Carefully flip to the other side with spatula and also pan-fry for 5 minutes. You could add a little more oil on the wok. Usually I would add ginger or garlic at this stage. To ensure the fish is cooked thoroughly, I would put on the lid and let the fish pan-fry and steam in the wok for at least 5 minutes;
  9. Now you could season the fish, salt, sugar, soy sauce, chili, shallot, green onion or other seasoning ingredients.

Chinese use a lots of herbs to cover the fishy taste, such as ginger and garlic. In this recipe, I also add pickled Chinese leafy mustard, suan-cai. Napa cabbage and leafy mustard are the two commonly seen vegetable in Chinese pickle. But there are a large variety of pickles in different Chinese cuisines. They can be served with rice, noodles, rice congee, or be braised with meat or fish, or in hotpot, even in soup.

Ingredients – 2-4 serving

  • Japanese seabass, 1, in large size
  • Pickled Chinese mustard, 150g
  • Ginger, 10g
  • Garlic, 5 cloves
  • Garlic sprout, 4 stalks, if unavailable, use green onion
  • Red chili, 2, optional
  • Douban sauce, 3tbsp
  • Cantonese rice wine, 5tbsp, or any Chinese cooking wine
  • Sugar, 1tbsp

How to do –

  1. Ingredients preparation – pickled mustard rinsed in water, then sliced; ginger peeled and sliced; garlic peeled and halved; garlic sprout washed, chopped off the root and top, then cut to small matchsticks;
  2. Fish preparation – fish washed inside out, scales removed and tail trimmed; pat dry with kitchen paper towels; sprinkle a nip of salt on both sides;
  3. Sauce preparation – in a mixing bowl, put in 3tbsp of douban sauce, 5tbsp of cooking wine, 1tbsp of sugar, mix well, then add a cup of water in;

4. Heat a wok or pan in high heat, pour in 3tbsp of oil, spread evenly, then pan-fry the fish in medium heat, about 3 minutes each side till both golden brown;

.
5. Put in ginger, garlic and pickle mustard, stir-fried till fragrant;

6. Pour in the seasoning mixture, lid on, bring to boil, then simmer for 10 minutes in medium heat;

7. Add the garlic sprout and chili in, keep simmer for 1 or 2 minutes in high heat with lid on. Lid removed, and reduce the sauce in high heat. Better serve with hot steamed rice.

用料

  • 鲈鱼 一条
  • 酸菜 150克
  • 姜 10克
  • 蒜 5颗
  • 红辣椒 2颗
  • 大蒜 4根
  • 豆瓣酱 3汤匙
  • 广东米酒 5汤匙
  • 糖 1汤匙

做法

  1. 备料 – 酸菜洗净后切条;大蒜、姜、辣椒斜刀切粒;蒜切半;鱼洗净后用厨房纸抹干表面水分,表面抹一点点盐;
  2. 充分热锅,热3汤匙油,油热后转中火放鱼,耐心煎至一面金黄后翻面,两面煎至金黄;
  3. 放入姜片、蒜粒、酸菜,爆香;
  4. 调料汁,3汤匙豆瓣酱、1汤匙白糖、5汤匙米酒,搅拌,再加一杯水;倒入料汁,盖锅盖,大火烧开后转中火炆10分钟;
  5. 最后加入大蒜和辣椒粒,盖锅盖大火煮1分钟即可;做这道菜我喜欢把汁收干。

Braised Whole Fish with Pickled Chinese Mustard (suan cai)

酸菜炆鱸魚

Preparation time: 30mins
Serving: 2-4

Ingredients

Japanese seabass 1 (large size)

pickled Chinese mustard 150g

ginger 10g

garlic 5cloves

garlic sprout 4

red chili 2 (optional)

douban sauce 3tbsp

Cantonese rice wine 5tbsp

sugar 1tbsp

Instructions

1.pickled mustard rinsed in water, then sliced; ginger peeled and sliced; garlic peeled and halved; garlic sprout washed, chopped off the root and top, then cut to small matchsticks;

2.fish washed inside out, scales removed and tail trimmed; pat dry with kitchen paper towels; sprinkle a nip of salt on both sides;

3.in a mixing bowl, put in 3tbsp of douban sauce, 5tbsp of cooking wine, 1tbsp of sugar, mix well, then add a cup of water in;

4.Heat a wok or pan in high heat, pour in 3tbsp of oil, spread evenly, then pan-fry the fish in medium heat, about 3 minutes each side till both golden brown;

5.Put in ginger, garlic and pickle mustard, stir-fried till fragrant;

6.Pour in the seasoning mixture, lid on, bring to boil, then simmer for 10 minutes in medium heat;

7.Add the garlic sprout and chili in, keep simmer for 1 or 2 minutes in high heat with lid on. Lid removed, and reduce the sauce in high heat. Better serve with hot steamed rice.

One thought on "酸菜炆鱸魚 : Braised Whole Fish with Pickled Chinese Mustard (suan cai)"

What do you think? Share your ideas below.

What's new