Chinese New Year is only a few days away. Whole fish is a must-have dish at my family’s New Year’s eve dinner. Fish in Chinese “Yu” has the same pronunciation as abundance. It symbolizes a year of abundance and good luck. Happy Chinese New Year everyone, the year of the dragon!
Whole Fish with Bean Paste
1 Tilapia, about 2 pounds, cleaned
2 tablespoons spicy bean paste, chopped finely
8 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped ginger
4 stalks scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
1 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon corn starch, mixed with 2 tablespoon water
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup water
1. Before cooking, dry the fish inside and out with paper towels. Make 3 cuts on both sides of the fish. Put salt inside and out.
2. Heat up 2 tablespoons oil in a flat pan to medium heat. Pan fry the fish, 2 minutes each side till it’s lightly brown. Take out the fish into a plate.
3. Add 2 tablespoons oil into the pan, and sauté ginger, garlic, and bean paste together about 1 minute.
4. Add sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and cooking wine, and mix up. Add water in and let it boil.
4. When it boils, put fish back. Cover and let it cook about 10 minutes. Occasionally scoop the sauce on top of the fish.
5. Take out the fish into a plate. Add scallions into the pan, and then add wet starch. Let it cook for about 1 minute.
6. Pour the sauce on top of the fish, and garish with remaining scallions. Serve.