Monday, May 2, 2011

Sichuan (Tzechuan) Style Spicy Fish Fillet and Tofu (水煮鱼)

My family and I had this dish the first time in Sichuan province, China many years back and was absolutely stunt at the amount of oil used and its pungent spicy taste!

Over time, I learnt about Sichuan cuisine and the beauty of "Red oil", where taste and fragrance of spices concentrated by cooking slowly into oil.

This dish became one of my all time favourites since we came to the States.So it is really not surprising that I soon find the needs to create a recipe and making it at home!

Note: You can also use sliced beef, mutton or chicken to make this dish !


2 Pieces of White fish fillet( I used Tilapia)
1/2 box of silken tofu
Chopped spring onion for garnishing.
3 Cloves of garlic
1 tsp of grated ginger root
15-20 Dried red Chilli
30 Sichuan pepper (花椒)
1 cup Chicken stock/any stock
1/2 cup oil
1.5 tbsp Roasted Sesame (or roasted peanuts)

For Marination:
 1 tbsp Cooking wine (Or Mirin)
1 tsp Corn Starch
1/2 egg white
Salt to taste

2 tbsp Spicy Sichuan soy bean paste
1 tsp Soy sauce
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Chilli powder

Slice fish into 1 inch width and 2-3 inches in length, mix with all ingredients listed under marinates, and leave it aside for at least 30 minutes.

Cut tofu into 2 inches x 3 inches pieces, grate ginger root, chopped garlic, and chopped spring onion.

Microwave the tofu pieces in a microwavable cookware for 3 minutes, drained.

In a saucepan ,add 1/2 cup of cooking oil, at medium low heat, fry the dried chilli and sichuan pepper, when the fragrance releases, dish out the peppers and set aside. Pour out half the oil.

With the remaining oil in the saucepan , stir in ginger and garlic,when it is fragrant, add 2 tbsp of spicy sichuan soy bean paste, cook until the oil separate.

Now add the chicken stock and 1/4 cup of water, bring to boil. Season with sugar, salt and soy sauce, bring to boil again.

Slowly add the marinated fish,stir lightly with a spoon/chopstick for even cooking, when the fish is about 70 percent cooked, pour the whole fish with sauce over the tofu pieces and cook the whole thing with tofu for another 5 minutes

When this is done, evenly add the fried chilli and sichuan pepper and sesame/peanuts on top.

Now, heat up the other half oil we set aside just now, with 1 tsp of Chilli powder (less if you prefer lesser heat) ,when the colour of oil turn reddish, pour it over the dish, you will observe some sizzling sound... and that is!

Note:You could heat up the oil in microwave for 2 minutes too!

Sprinkle some chopped spring onion for garnishing..

Its yummy!

中文版,For Chinese, Click --》水煮鱼/豆花鱼片


  1. I can not WAIT to try this recipe! This looks almost exactly like a dish that I get at my favorite Szechuan restaurant in NYC. Sadly, I get to go only when I'm there on business, so hopefully this can fill in between visits. Thank you for posting this!

  2. I DID try this recipe and I can say it is awesome! I like the "spicy fish & tofu" at authentic Sichuan places, but sometimes I don't feel like going out there and paying $20 for it. This recipe has all of the powerful, addictive flavor & heat, for a fraction of the cost. Definitely an A-double-plus. Thanks for posting!

  3. Sony,I highly recommend this recipe.. it is definitely worth trying once... it is very tasty!

    Snoru... I am glad you liked it...welcome to my blog and welcome to share more of your experience in Sichuan Cooking!

  4. Thank you soooo much! There's a Sichuan restaurant 20 minutes away from me that makes the most AMAZING dishes and this is one of them. I have just used this recipe and it's close. I will have to figure out how to tweak it. I think it may have something to do with the kind of oil or peppers I am using and also the brand of soy bean paste. I am so grateful you shared this recipe. Thank you, Echo!

  5. yes, you probably want to buy the paste from Sichuan, preferably Made in Pixian... Do come and let me know how it turns out next time!

  6. This sounds lovely, will be giving this a try, thanks for sharing.



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