Chinese Red Cooked Fish Recipe

Serves/Makes: 4 - 6


  • 1 whole (about 2 pounds) carp (sea bass, pike, red snapper, perch or any other firm white fish), cleaned, but with head and tail left on
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil or flavorless vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup Chinese rice wine or pale dry sherry
  • 1 cup chicken stock, fresh or canned
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 scallions, including the green tops, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 4 slices peeled, fresh ginger root, about 1 inch in diameter and 1/8-inch thick
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Stuffing:
  • 1/2 pound boneless lean pork, finely ground
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger root
How to cook Chinese Red Cooked Fish:
  • Combine in a bowl the ground pork, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, salt and ginger, and, with a large spoon or your hands, mix them together thoroughly.
  • Wash the carp well under cold running water and pat it dry inside and out with paper towels. Place the fish flat on a chopping board and, with a cleaver or sharp, heavy knife, score the skin by making one row of diagonal cuts about 1 inch apart and 1/2-inch deep across its length from head to tail. Then turn the fish over and score the other side. Sprinkle the fish inside and out with the salt.
  • Spread the flour over a sheet of wax paper and roll the fish about it on both sides. Then lift the fish by the tail and shake off any excess flour.
  • Spoon the stuffing mixture into the cavity of the fish and press the flaps firmly together to enclose the stuffing. (It is not necessary to sew or skewer the opening.)
  • Have the stuffed fish, oil, wine, chicken stock, soy sauce, scallions, ginger and garlic within easy reach.
  • Set a 12-inch wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat for 30 seconds. Pour in the 3 tablespoons of oil, swirl it about in the pan and heat for another 30 seconds, turning the heat down to moderate if the oil begins to smoke.
  • Add the garlic, place the fish in the pan and let it brown for 5 minutes, regulating the heat under the pan to prevent the fish from burning. Then turn the fish over gently with a spatula or 2 large spoons and brown the other side. Now pour in the wine, chicken stock, soy sauce and sugar; scatter the scallions and ginger on top of the fish and cover the pan. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook the fish undisturbed for 15 minutes, adjusting the heat to keep the stock simmering. Baste the fish with the braising liquid, re-cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes longer.
  • To serve, gently transfer the fish from the pan to a large heated platter. With a cleaver or sharp knife, cut the top layer of the fish into 1 1/2-inch crosswise slices, but don’t cut through the backbone. Remove and discard the garlic and ginger, then pour the braising sauce over the fish.
  • Serve at once. When the top slices have been served, carefully remove the backbone and the little center bones attached to it. Then slice and serve the bottom layer of fish.


The Chinese name for the Red Cooked Fish dish is Hung Shao Yu.

This recipe for Chinese Red Cooked Fish serves/makes: 4 - 6

The Chinese Red Cooked Fish recipe and the pictures are adopted from The Our Favorite Fish & Seafood Recipes Cookbook.

Main Ingredient: Carp (more Carp recipes)
Preparation Method: Poached/Simmered (more Poached/Simmered recipes)
Cuisine: Chinese (more Chinese recipes)

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