Aside from dumplings, eating fish at New Year is one of the most important traditions. Eating it represents good luck, and prosperity – it’s just not New Year without a big, steaming, juicy fish on the table!
Now for a new recipe, this time for a spicy Szechuan fish:
1 large whole, white fish
2 tbsp cornflour
3 tbsp Shaoshing Wine
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp ginger, chopped fine
3 tsp sugar
2 tbsp black vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 spring onions, chopped
200ml fish stock
5 Chinese mushrooms, sliced fine
small handful of Szechuan peppercorns
15 dried red chillies, sliced in long ways in half
2 tbsp Chilli bean paste
Combine the wine, ginger, and a few pinches of salt into a bowl. Score the fish on both sides and marinate in the bowl for around 30 mins.
In a saucepan, heat 100ml cooking oil and add the sliced chillies and Szechuan Peppercorns. When it becomes fragrant (you can smell the spice), remove the chilli, peppercorns and half the oil, and set aside.
With the remaining oil, add the garlic, ginger, and chilli bean paste until cooked. Add the stock, soy sauce, sugar, mushrooms, spring onion, and vinegar and bring to a boil.
Add the fish, simmer and cover, cooking for 15 mins more. When the fish is cooked through, mix the cornflour with a little water and add to the pan, so that the sauce gets thickened.
Serve with the chillies on steamed white rice or on a bed of rice noodles.