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Chinese Black Pepper Fish Recipe: Unlocking the Easy Cooking of a Seafood Dish

If you are a seafood lover who wants an easy-to-cook and delicious dish,  Chinese black pepper fish is a great option. This dish features tender fish fillets that are marinated in a flavourful mixture of Shaoxing wine, salt, egg white, and cornstarch, then cooked until crispy and golden brown. The black pepper adds a spicy kick and depth of flavour that makes this dish truly irresistible.

A sizzling wok with chunks of fish, surrounded by vibrant red and green peppers, onions, and a sprinkle of black peppercorns

To make Chinese black pepper fish, you'll need a few key ingredients such as fish fillets, black pepper, Shaoxing wine, and cornstarch. You can use a variety of fish types, including cod, tilapia, or sea bass, depending on your preference. If you're feeling adventurous, you can also try using shrimp or squid for a seafood twist.

Once you have your ingredients ready, the dish comes together quickly and easily. The fish is marinated for just 10 minutes before being fried until crispy and golden brown. The result is a dish that's bursting with flavour and texture, making it the perfect choice for a quick and satisfying meal.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese black pepper fish is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that features tender fish fillets marinated in a flavourful mixture of Shaoxing wine, salt, egg white, and cornstarch, then cooked until crispy and golden brown.
  • You can use a variety of fish types, including cod, tilapia, or sea bass, depending on your preference, or try using shrimp or squid for a seafood twist.
  • The dish comes together quickly and easily, making it the perfect choice for a quick and satisfying meal.

Understanding Chinese Black Pepper Fish

A sizzling wok of Chinese black pepper fish, with vibrant red and green peppers, aromatic spices, and a glossy, savory sauce

If you're a fan of Chinese cuisine, you've probably heard of Chinese Black Pepper Fish. This popular dish is made by stir-frying fish with a savoury black pepper sauce, bell peppers, and onions. Here's what you need to know about this delicious meal.

Origins and Popularity

Chinese Black Pepper Fish is a classic Chinese dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is believed to have originated in the Sichuan province, which is known for its spicy cuisine. The dish has since spread throughout China and is now enjoyed all over the world.

The popularity of Chinese Black Pepper Fish can be attributed to its unique flavour profile. The dish combines the savoury taste of fish with the spicy kick of black pepper. It is also a versatile dish that can be made with a variety of fish, making it accessible to a wide range of people.

Selecting the Right Fish

When it comes to making Chinese Black Pepper Fish, selecting the right fish is crucial. You want to choose a firm, white fish that will hold up well during the stir-frying process. Some good options include cod, basa, haddock, hake, pollock, and halibut.

If you want to add some variety to your dish, you can also use seafood such as shrimp or scallops. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to avoid overcooking.

Chinese Black Pepper Fish is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that is perfect for any occasion. With a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking skills, you can enjoy this classic Chinese dish in the comfort of your own home.

Key Ingredients and Substitutes

A wooden cutting board with whole black peppercorns, fresh fish fillets, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. A bowl of cornstarch and a bottle of cooking oil sit nearby

When it comes to Chinese Black Pepper Fish, there are a few key ingredients that you simply can't do without. However, if you're missing one or two items, there are some substitutes that you can use instead.

Seasoning Essentials

The first essential ingredient is black pepper. Freshly cracked black pepper gives the best flavour, so it's worth investing in a pepper grinder if you don't already have one. If you don't have black pepper, you can use white pepper instead, but the flavour won't be quite the same.

Salt is another essential seasoning that you'll need for this recipe. Sea salt is best, but you can use regular table salt if that's all you have.

Ginger and garlic are also important flavourings for this dish. Freshly minced ginger and garlic will give you the best flavour, but you can use pre-minced garlic and ginger paste if you're short on time.

Sauce Components

The sauce for Chinese Black Pepper Fish is made up of a few different components. Oyster sauce is one of the key ingredients, and it adds a rich, savoury flavour to the dish. If you don't have oyster sauce, you can use hoisin sauce instead.

Soy sauce is another important component of the sauce. Light soy sauce is best for this recipe, but you can use dark soy sauce if that's all you have.

Sugar is used to balance out the flavours in the sauce. You can use brown sugar or white sugar, depending on your preference.

Cornstarch is used to thicken the sauce. If you don't have cornstarch, you can use potato starch or arrowroot powder instead.

If you want to use seafood in this recipe, you can use any firm white fish such as cod, haddock, or halibut. You can also use shrimp or scallops if you prefer. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Preparing the Fish

A chef seasons a whole fish with Chinese black pepper and prepares it for cooking

When it comes to preparing Chinese black pepper fish, the key is to have a firm, white fish. Seafood such as cod, haddock, or pollock are great options to use in this recipe.

Marinade and Batter Preparation

To start preparing the fish, you will need to marinate it in a mixture of Shaoxing wine, salt, egg white, and cornstarch. This mixture should be combined in a medium-sized bowl. Once the mixture is well combined, add the fish fillets and mix well. Let the fish marinate in the mixture for about 10 minutes.

After the fish has marinated, it's time to prepare the batter. For the batter, you can use a mixture of potato starch and cornstarch. This will give the fish a crispy texture. Add the mixture to the fish fillets and mix well.

Frying Techniques

When it comes to frying the fish, you want to use a high smoke point oil such as peanut oil, neutral oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, or canola oil. These oils are great for deep frying as they can withstand high temperatures without smoking or burning.

To fry the fish, heat the oil in a pan until it's hot. Then, add the fish fillets to the pan and fry until they are golden brown. Be sure to flip the fish fillets halfway through cooking to ensure that both sides are evenly cooked.

Once the fish fillets are cooked, remove them from the pan and let them rest on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Serve the fish hot with a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper on top.

Preparing Chinese black pepper fish is a simple and straightforward process that anyone can master. With the right ingredients and techniques, you can create a delicious and crispy dish that's perfect for any occasion.

Cooking the Dish

A wok sizzles with fish, black pepper, and aromatic spices. Steam rises as the chef tosses the ingredients, creating a tantalizing aroma

Stir-Frying Veggies and Fish

To start cooking Chinese black pepper fish, you will need to stir-fry the vegetables and fish. Begin by heating up some oil in a wok or frying pan. Once the oil is hot, add in some chopped onions and bell peppers. Stir-fry the vegetables for a few minutes until they start to soften.

Next, you can add in the fish. Seafood such as tilapia, cod, or catfish can be used for this recipe. Cut the fish into bite-sized pieces and add them to the wok. Stir-fry the fish until it is cooked through and crispy on the outside.

Combining with Sauce

After the fish is cooked, it's time to combine it with the black pepper sauce. In a small bowl, mix together some soy sauce, oyster sauce, black pepper, and cornstarch. Add a bit of water to the mixture to thin it out.

Pour the sauce over the fish and vegetables, stirring everything together until it is well coated. Cook for a few more minutes until the sauce has thickened and everything is heated through.

Finally, garnish the dish with some chopped spring onions or scallions. Serve the Chinese black pepper fish hot with steamed rice.

Using seafood in this recipe is a great suggestion. You can use any firm white fish such as haddock, halibut or sea bass.

Serving and Storage

A steaming plate of Chinese black pepper fish is placed on a wooden table next to a bowl of steamed rice. A pair of chopsticks rests on the side, ready for serving

Plating Suggestions

Once your Chinese black pepper fish is cooked, it's time to plate it up. This dish goes well with a variety of sides, but rice or noodles are a classic choice. Steamed rice is an excellent option as it helps to soak up the delicious sauce. You can also serve it with a side of stir-fried vegetables to add some colour and crunch to your meal.

If you want to make it a complete weeknight meal, you can pair it with a soup or salad. Seafood lovers can add some prawns or scallops to the dish to give it an extra touch of flavour.

Leftovers and Reheating

If you have any leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, gently stir-fry the fish over medium heat with one tablespoon of water. You can also microwave it for a minute or two, but make sure you cover it with a paper towel to prevent it from drying out.

To maintain the crispy texture of the fish, store it on a wire rack instead of a plate. This will help to prevent the fish from becoming soggy.

To sum it up, Chinese black pepper fish is a delicious and easy dish to make. With a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking skills, you can create a restaurant-quality meal in the comfort of your own home.

Frequently Asked Questions

A sizzling wok with Chinese black pepper fish, surrounded by aromatic spices and herbs

What ingredients do I need for a black pepper fish stir fry?

To make a delicious black pepper fish stir fry, you will need fish fillets, black pepper, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, cornstarch, and oil. If you prefer a spicier dish, you can add some chilli flakes or fresh chillies.

If you want to add some variety to the recipe, you can also use other seafood such as prawns or squid. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

How do I properly fry fish with a black pepper crust?

To fry fish with a black pepper crust, first, season the fish with salt and black pepper. Then, coat the fish in cornstarch and shake off any excess. Heat some oil in a pan until hot, then add the fish and fry until golden brown on both sides. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan, as this can cause the fish to steam instead of fry.

Can you bake fish with black pepper seasoning, and if so, how?

Yes, you can bake fish with black pepper seasoning. Preheat your oven to 200°C and place the seasoned fish fillets on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and the crust is crispy.

What's the best way to prepare fish in black pepper sauce?

To prepare fish in black pepper sauce, first, fry the fish fillets until golden brown. Then, in a separate pan, sauté garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and black pepper, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the fried fish fillets to the sauce and cook for a few more minutes until the sauce thickens.

Is there a difference between Chinese and Thai black pepper fish recipes?

Yes, there is a difference between Chinese and Thai black pepper fish recipes. Chinese black pepper fish typically uses a combination of soy sauce and oyster sauce, while Thai black pepper fish often uses fish sauce and palm sugar. Additionally, Thai black pepper fish may also include lemongrass and other herbs for added flavour.

What are some good sides to serve with black pepper fish fillets?

Some good sides to serve with black pepper fish fillets include steamed rice, stir-fried vegetables, or a simple salad. You can also pair the dish with a refreshing drink such as iced tea or a light beer.