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Hot Szechuan Fish Recipe

Are you a spice lover looking to try out a new recipe? Then why not try out this Szechuan fish or else known as Shui Zhu Yu recipe whenever you’re next feeling experimental.

This recipe packs a punch and really is worth all the effort it takes to find all the ingredients and to make. It’ll be nothing like you’ve ever tried before and is addictively tasty, even if it does burn your lips off by the end. 

Keep on reading to find out how to make this Shui Zhu Yu recipe. 

What is Shui Zhu Yu?

Shui Zhu Yu translates as water-boiled fish as the fish is poached in seasoned water to be tender when you bite into it.

The recipe offers intense flavor and pungent heat, so if you’ve got anyone dining with you then you may want to grab them a glass of water, or even milk.

It’s usually made with a fresh whole fish, but using fresh fillets will work just as well. 

The recipe is made using Sichuan peppercorns, which is how the dish gets its name.

However, some people think the dish found its name as there is a province in China called Sichuan, although the dish is normally associated with being originated in the region of Chongqing in southwestern China. 

This dish is not cheap to order when you’re in China, and also in the US, so I wanted to find the perfect recipe so I could make it myself at home. 

Be warned, whilst this recipe will only take under 30 minutes to make, there are a lot of ingredients required including some option ingredients which are highly recommended by myself. 

So if you were looking for a recipe that you could make by using up any remaining refrigerator ingredients at the end of the week then this probably won’t be it. 

What key ingredients will I need to make Shui Zhu Yu?

If there are certain ingredients that you’re not a fan of, or maybe you’ve got allergies or dietary issues, then feel free to leave them out.

I would recommend following the recipe as closely as you can the first time you make it if you can, then you’ll be able to experience this crazy flavor and heat. 

The list below is only a handful of some of the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe, scroll further down to find the complete list of ingredients you’ll need for each component of this recipe and also their measurements. 

Fresh White Fish

Catfish, cod, or sea bass is often used for this recipe, but you can use whatever white fish you can get at your local store.

Doubanjiang

A great staple to keep in your pantry. You may be able to find it at your regular grocery store but you’ll also be able to find it at the Asian market.

  • Sichuan Peppercorns (Green)
  • Ginger
  • Sichuan Chilis
  • Garlic
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Shaoxing Wine
  • Celery
  • Soy Sauce

Ingredients measurements

Fish & Marinade

  • 2 white fish fillets
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Liquid Base

  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 5 sliced ginger pieces
  • 3 diced green onions
  • 3 tbsp of Doubanjiang
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 5 sliced dried chili peppers
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup of fish or low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tsp of Sichuan peppercorn

Vegetables

  • 2 cups of bean sprouts
  • 1 chopped celery stalk

How to make Shui Zhu Yu

I’d recommend chopping and preparing all your ingredients and measurements before you begin to set off with your cooking. This recipe can move pretty fast and you don’t want to get it wrong and miss out on any key ingredients. 

  1. Cut your white fish into ¼ inch thick slices on a diagonal angle
  2. Marinate your fish using Shaoxing wine, salt, white pepper, 1 egg white, and cornstarch in a bowl and mix with your hands. It should begin to feel slimy.
  3. Drizzle some oil over the top ready for cooking and then marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes whilst you prepare the other ingredients
  4. Drizzle some oil into a wok and put it on medium to high heat then add in your celery and beansprouts and fry for a couple of minutes before transferring to a deep heatproof serving bowl
  5. Remove your seeds from 3 of your dried chilis and then cut them into ¼ inch pieces. Then add 1 tsp of oil back into the wok on medium-high heat
  6. Add your garlic, ginger, diced dried chilis, Sichuan peppercorns and stir for 1 minute before adding in your Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, Doubanjiang, green onion, and fish stock
  7. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low, put a cover on, and simmer for 15 minutes
  8. Then begin adding in your marinated fish using tongs or a spider to the hot broth and then discard the marinade, cook for 2 minutes and then transfer them to the bowl with the bean sprouts and celery
  9. Then after bringing your soup back to the boil for 1 minute pour into the heatproof serving bowl that the vegetables and the fish is in
  10. In a small saucepan, use the remaining oil, Sichuan peppercorns, diced dried chilis, and chili powder and stir until it begins to smoke, and then carefully drizzle it over the serving dish

You can choose to garnish with cilantro as a finishing touch if you wish.

How to store Shui Zhu Yu

With any leftovers, leave to cool and then refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat positions individually and not as one.

You can use the leftover broth to cook any other meat or vegetables throughout the week and then add in some cornstarch to thicken up the sauce.

You may find that the dish has more heat when it’s been left in the refrigerator for a couple of days. 

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