Discover this Amazing Chinese Style Sea bream fish recipe that uses Sichuan cooking techniques and ingredients. Sichuan is famous for using a lot of spice in their food, and although this recipe tries to be foreigners friendly, this seabream fish recipe does not break away from this habit.
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Fish and its meaning in Chinese culture
There is so much more to fish for Chinese people than just food. Fish is the ultimate symbol of prosperity, affluence, and good life. In Chinese, the pronunciation for fish is “Yú 鱼,” which has the same pronunciation as the character “余,” which means surplus or affluent. There is also a saying in China that “There is no banquet without fish”. Therefore, if you could only have one dish during the Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner, it would be fish in Chinese people’s eyes.
Another critical point in Chinese tradition concerns keeping the entirety of the fish, including the fish head and tail, especially if the fish is fed to children. It’s a way to wish children to accomplish any task or job from the beginning (head) till the end (tail). Furthermore, it’s also a tradition to put the fish head toward the most senior person on the table as a sign of respect.
Why seabream fish is excellent for this Chinese style recipe
Seabream fish combines a perfect mix of fat and meat, making it great for pan-frying and delicious for taste. As the fish releases its fat during cooking, the sauce absorbs its flavors and mixes it well with the other ingredients we put in this unique recipe. Seabream fish is also relatively easy to eat without having to handle too many bones.
Ingredients for this Chinese Style Seabream fish recipe:
❣️ One or two whole sea bream fish (two if you want to create this symbol of Yīnyáng 阴阳 depicting balance and harmony)
❣️ 100g of pork belly (preferably Iberica pork)
❣️ 80g of water chestnuts (you can find frozen ones in oriental stores)
❣️ 5 slices of ginger
❣️ 5 cloves of garlic
❣️ One spring onion, only the white part close to the roots
❣️ One Celery Stock
❣️ 1 tablespoon of Sichuan broad bean paste
❣️ 1 teaspoon of sugar
❣️ 1 tablespoon of light color soy sauce
❣️ 1 tablespoon of Chinese rice wine
❣️ 1 cup of hot water
❣️ 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Preparations of sea bream fish and other ingredients:
👉 Wash and clean the fish, cut both sides into fishnet cuts
👉 Dice the pork into 1cm cubes
👉 Dice the water chestnuts into 1cm cubes
👉 Sliver the ginger
👉 Press the garlic
👉 Chop the spring onion
👉 Chop to bits the broad bean paste
Preparation and cooking steps
✅ Brush a bit of oil on both sides of the sea breams and pan-fry them until they have become golden brown
✅ Heat-up another wok, add the olive oil, stir fry the pieces of pork until they have changed color and released oil
✅ Add the broad bean paste, stir fry until the oil changes to red color
✅ Then add the water chestnut, ginger and garlic, and spring onion. Fry for 10 seconds
✅ Pour the rice wine, then sugar and soy sauce. Stir for a few seconds
✅ Add the hot water
✅ Add the pan-fried fish to the boiling sauce, and boil for 6 minutes cooking each side of the seabreams for 3 minutes.
✅ Take out the sea breams, then pour the sauce on them and serve immediately.
Where can you find sea bream fish?
Your best options to find sea breams in the UK are fishmongers, your local town markets, Waitrose supermarkets, and Billingsgate fish market in canary wharf London.