West Lake Vinegar Fish (Xi Hu Cu Yu)

West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy
West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy @ www.chinesefoodrecipes.org

A story behind this dish @ Cultural China

West Lake Vinegar Fish is a traditional delicacy of Hangzhou with sweet and sour flavor. It is said that the fish was originally cooked by Song’s sister-in-law. She wanted to inspire Song the essence of the true life by the sweet – sour flavor.

RECIPE: www.chinesefoodrecipes.org

Ingredients of West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy:
Live grass carp 1 (about 700 grams weighing), Shaoxing rice wine 25 grams, 1.5 grams of ginger, soy sauce 75 grams, 60 grams of sugar, vinegar 50 grams, wet starch 50 grams, a little sesame oil.

Steps to cook West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy:

1. First put the live grass carp into a large basin filled with clear water,keep it hungry for one to two days to rinse well and get rid of the smell of mud.

2. Let the fish back outwards, cutting from the tail and along the backbone to the submandibular, splitting the head, chopping off fish teeth.

3. Add 1,000 grams of water in the pot, stir to boil, and then spread out the fish, back down, put into pot to boil again, then turn to simmer for another 3 minutes till fish paddle fins erecting and eyes sticking out. then, take out the fish with a colander, drain soup, put into a bowl with skin side up and being flat.

4. Marinade:Heat up the pot with the original fish soup 250 grams, Shaoxing rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, to boil. Add vinegar, starch and sesame oil to the marinade. poured the marinade over the fish’s body.serve.

Tips to cook West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy :
1. It is better to cook this dish with live grass carp.
2. The marinade for fish must be thick but not much.
3. Fish cannot be in boiled in water for long time,to make the fish keep as a whole and not broken, also make the meat to be tender but not rotten.

china-west-lake @ whats4eats

Whole fish, grass carp, snapper, seabass or other white fish — 1 (2-pound) fish
Water — 1 1/2 quarts
Ginger, sliced thinly — 4 to 5 slices
Brown or white sugar — 1/4 cup
Black (Chinkiang) vinegar or cider vinegar — 1/3 cup
Soy sauce — 2 tablespoons
Rice wine or water — 2 tablespoons
Cornstarch — 2 tablespoons
Salt — to taste

Rinse the whole, cleaned fish in cold water and pat dry. Using a sharp knive, slice two or three diagonal cuts into the flesh on each side of the fish.
Add the water and ginger slices to a wok or pot large enough to hold the fish and bring to a slow simmer over medium-low flame. Lower the fish into the water and poach gently for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Using slotted spoons, carefully remove the fish from the water. Place on a warm serving platter, pat dry and set aside.
Pour off all but about 1/2 cup of water from the wok or pot and remove the ginger slices. Add the sugar, vinegar and soy sauce and bring to a boil over medium flame, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir the cornstarch and rice wine or water to form a slurry and whisk enough of the slurry into the simmering sauce to thicken it lightly. Remove the sauce from heat and adjust seasoning with salt.
Pour the sauce over the fish and serve immediately. Diners remove pieces of fish from the platter using chopsticks.


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