Chinese Spicy Roast Fish




Chinese Spicy Roast Fish

The fish is roasted until moist and tender, with a crispy surface. The accompanying vegetables are cooked in Szechuan hot sauce and savory black bean paste, with pickled peppers, to impart a pungent and spicy flavor. A party for the eyes and the taste buds comes together in a single dish.



1 whole fish ( about 1 to 2 lbs.  Any white fish is fine.  Pick one that is your favorite.  Ask worker at the fish place to flat the fish by cutting it right down the middle)

For grilling the fish
oil to coat the fish
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (or powder)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 thumb ginger, half sliced, half minced
1 medium size onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt

For the Sauce
2 tablespoons spicy fermented bean paste (dou ban jiang)
1 tablespoon fermented black bean sauce (dou chi jiang)
(optional) 10 Sichuan pickled pepper (pao jiao) (or Cajun pickled pepper)

For the Stir-fry ( you can use any of your favorite vegetables as substitute here. )

2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorn
5 cloves garlic, halved
10 – 20 dried chili pepper
1  potato, sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup bamboo shoot, sliced
1 cup bean curd skin
2 cups shiitake mushroom, sliced
10 – 20 dried chili pepper
4 tablespoons chicken broth (or water)
1 teaspoon sugar
(optional) cilantro for garnish


Step 1:    Wash all the vegetables and chop the onion and ginger.
Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (430 F). Line a baking tray with a sheet of parchment and spray a thin layer of olive oil on top.
Mix chili pepper flakes and cumin powder in a small bowl.
Spread half of the onion slices on the baking tray.




Step 2:  Dry the fish thoroughly with a paper towel. Place the fish on top of the onion. Grind salt and sprinkle half the chili and cumin mixture evenly over the fish. Spray a thin layer of oil on top. Flip the fish and season the other side in the same manner, spray with oil. Place  a few ginger slices on top of the fish.



Step 3:    Bake on the middle rack until fish is cooked through, about 20 minutes (or longer time if you use a larger fish). You should be able to easily separate the flesh from the bone with a fork, and the internal temperature of the fish should be 62 degrees C (145 F).   Mix chili bean paste, black chili paste and Sichuan pickled peppers in a small bowl. Add dried chili pepper and chicken broth separately in two small bowls. Place the veggies, mixed sauce, peppercorns, dried chili pepper, chicken broth, salt and sugar on the kitchen counter, near the wok.


Step 4:   (This step is optional.  Skip if you are not using sichuan peppercorn.)  Heat the wok over medium high heat and add oil. When the oil is warm, add peppercorns. Stir until fragrant and the peppercorns turn dark brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Turn to lowest heat. Use a ladle to scoop out the peppercorns and discard them.

Turn to medium high heat. Add the remainder of the minced ginger and garlic and stir a few times until fragrant. Add the rest of the onion. Stir until the onion turns translucent, about 1 minute.   Add the mixed sauce and stir immediately to coat onion with sauce evenly, 30 seconds.   Add chili pepper, stir a few times to mix.

Add potato slices, bamboo shoots, beancurd skin slices(optional)  and mushrooms. Stir continuously for 1 to 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and sugar. Continue to stir until the seasonings are mixed evenly and the veggies are cooked through. Turn to lowest heat and taste the veggies. Add more salt to adjust seasoning if necessary.

Transfer the baked fish to a big plate. Pour the veggies and sauce over top of the fish. Garnish with cilantro.   Serve immediately with steamed rice.