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Boiled Fish Stew

Sichuan Boiled Fish

Course Soup
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2


Group 1:

  • 250 g / 9oz skinless boneless fish fillet (see note 1)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Group 2:

  • 0.5 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 10-15 dried chilli
  • 2 teaspoons Sichuan pepper see note 2

Group 3:

  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 250 g celery cut into thin strips (or bean sprouts)

Group 4:

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger minced
  • 1 stalk spring onion chopped
  • 1.5 tablespoons Sichuan chilli bean paste see note 3
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 400 ml hot water or chicken stock

Group 5:

  • cilantro chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil


  • Marinate the fish (Ingredients group 1): Slice the fish fillet diagonally. Marinate with salt, white pepper, rice wine & corn starch.
  • Fry the spicy topping (Ingredients group 2): In a wok (or a deep frying pan), fry dried chilli and Sichuan pepper in oil over a low heat until fragrant (do not burn them). Chop coarsely when cooled. Set aside.
  • Cook the vegetable (Ingredients group 3): In the same wok, heat up oil over a medium heat, stir in celery. Cook for 1.5 minutes or so (30 seconds if using bean sprouts instead). Transfer to a serving bowl. Set aside.
  • Poach the fish (Ingredients group 4): Heat up oil in the wok, fry garlic, ginger and spring onion. Add Sichuan chilli bean paste and chilli powder. Pour in water (or chicken stock). Bring it to a boil then gently place the fish slices into the wok. When cooked, pour the fish and the soup onto the vegetable.
  • Garnish the dish (Ingredients group 5): Garnish with fried spicy topping and coriander. Heat up oil then pour over to sizzle the spices. Serve immediately with plain rice.


From: Wei @ Red House Spice
1. You can use catfish, cod, sea bass, pangasius, etc.
2. There are two different types of Sichuan pepper in this dish: the regular Sichuan pepper and green Sichuan pepper. The latter delivers a very strong numbing sensation to your mouth. If not available, you may use the regular one.
3. Different brands of Sichuan chilli bean paste (aka spicy Doubanjiang) may vary in saltiness, hotness and texture. Adjust the volume accordingly. Best to use Pixian Douban, a well-known variety, which needs to be coarsely chopped prior to cooking.