Chinese Smoked 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 removed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Chinese rice wine, or pale dry sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 slices peeled ginger root, about 1-inch in diameter and 1/8-inch thick
  • 1 scallion, including green top, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock, fresh or canned
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 3 cups peanut oil, or flavorless vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
How to cook Chinese Smoked Fish:
  • Wash the carp quickly under cold running water, and pat it dry inside and out with paper towels. With a cleaver or heavy, sharp knife, split the fish in half by cutting along its backbone. Remove the bones, lay each half flat on a board and chop the halves crosswise into slices 1/2-inch wide.
  • In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, wine, salt, ginger and scallions. Add the carp and toss it gently in the mixture to coat each strip thoroughly. Marinate at room temperature for 3 - 4 hours, stirring every hour or so.
  • Remove the fish slices from the marinade with a slotted spoon and drain them thoroughly on a rack. Strain the marinade through a sieve into a small saucepan, pressing down hard on the ginger and scallions to extract all their liquid before discarding them.
  • Have the fish marinade, oil, chicken stock, brown sugar and five-spice powder within easy reach.
  • Bring the pan of strained marinade to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to its lowest point, and stir in the chicken stock and brown sugar. Let the sauce simmer as slowly as possible while the fish is being fried.
  • Pour 3 cups of oil into a 12-inch wok or heavy deep-fryer and heat it until a haze forms above it or registers 375°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Drop the fish into the oil about 6 pieces at a time and deep-fry them for 5 minutes, or until they are crisp and a deep mahogany brown. Then pick them up one at a time with chopsticks or kitchen tongs, dip them in the simmering sauce and lay them side by side on a platter. Cool to room temperature.
  • Just before serving, sprinkle the deep-fried carp lightly with the five-spice powder.


The Chinese name for the Smoked Fish dish is Hs'un Yu.


Despite its name, this fish is not smoked. In the traditional version of this recipe, the fish was smoked after it had been deep-fried, and the original name Smoked Fish is still used for it.

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

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

Main Ingredient: Carp (more Carp recipes)
Preparation Method: Deep Fried (more Deep Fried recipes)
Cuisine: Chinese (more Chinese recipes)

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