Irresistible Crispy Chinese Fish Recipe for Culinary Bliss – Seaco Online
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Irresistible Crispy Chinese Fish Recipe for Culinary Bliss

If you're looking for a delicious and crispy Chinese dish, then you can't go wrong with deep-fried fish. This popular Cantonese recipe is a favourite in Chinese restaurants around the world. The secret to making the perfect deep-fried fish is all in the technique. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of choosing the right fish, preparing it for frying, and cooking it to golden brown perfection.

A whole fish being deep-fried in a wok with bubbling hot oil, surrounded by sizzling and aromatic seasonings like ginger, garlic, and green onions

When it comes to choosing the right fish for this recipe, you want to look for a firm white fish that is not too oily. Sea bass, cod, and haddock are all great options. You'll also need to prepare the fish by cleaning and scaling it before frying. Once the fish is ready, you'll need to coat it in a batter made from flour, cornstarch, and water. This will give the fish a crispy exterior that is perfect for deep frying.

To fry the fish, you'll need a wok or a deep frying pan filled with hot oil. The key is to get the oil hot enough so that the fish cooks quickly and evenly. Once the fish is cooked, you can serve it with a variety of sauces and garnishes. Whether you're serving it with rice or noodles, this dish is sure to be a hit at your next dinner party.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose a firm white fish that is not too oily for the best results.
  • Coat the fish in a batter made from flour, cornstarch, and water to achieve a crispy exterior.
  • Fry the fish in hot oil for a golden brown finish.

Choosing the Right Fish

A golden, crispy whole fish is being carefully lifted out of a bubbling wok, surrounded by fragrant aromas of ginger, garlic, and soy sauce

When it comes to deep-frying fish, choosing the right fish is crucial to achieving the best results. Here are a few things to consider when selecting the right fish for your deep-fried Chinese dish.

Freshness Indicators

Freshness is key when it comes to choosing the right fish for your deep-frying recipe. Look for fish that has clear eyes, bright red gills, shiny scales, and firm flesh. If you're buying whole fish, make sure it smells fresh and has a clean ocean smell. Fresh fish fillets should also have a clean smell and be free from any discolouration or sliminess.

Best Fish Varieties

When it comes to deep-frying fish, you want a fish with firm flesh that can hold up to the frying process. Some of the best fish varieties for deep-frying include bass, tuna, sea bass, cod, bream, white meat, tilapia, and oily fishes like salmon. White fish fillets like haddock, pollock, and halibut are also great options.

If you're looking to use seafood in your recipe, consider using prawns or squid. Both are great options for deep-frying and can add a delicious flavour to your dish.

Remember, the type of fish you choose will affect the flavour and texture of your dish, so choose wisely.

Preparing the Fish

A whole fish is being coated in a seasoned batter, then lowered into a pot of sizzling hot oil

Before you can deep fry your fish, you need to properly prepare it. Here are the three important steps you need to follow:

Cleaning and Scaling

The first step to preparing your fish is to clean and scale it. Rinse the fish under cold water and remove any visible scales using a fish scaler or the back of a knife. You can also ask your fishmonger to do this for you. Make sure to remove the guts and any other internal organs.

Marinating the Fish

Marinating your fish is important to add flavour and tenderize the meat. In a small bowl, mix together light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, and a pinch of white pepper. Rub the marinade all over the fish, including inside the cavity. Let the fish marinate for at least 30 minutes.

If you want to add more depth of flavour, you can also add minced garlic, grated ginger, sliced scallions, or oyster sauce to the marinade.

Propose the use of seafood in the recipe as a suggestion where applicable. Be specific about the type(s) of seafood that can be used for cooking if you propose seafood to be used. For example, you can use sea bass, tilapia, or cod for this recipe.

Creating the Perfect Batter

The final step to preparing your fish is to create the perfect batter. In a bowl, mix together flour, corn starch, and potato starch. Slowly add water while whisking until the batter is smooth and thick enough to coat the fish. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

You can also use a pre-made batter mix, but make sure to follow the instructions on the package.

Now that you have properly prepared your fish, you are ready to deep fry it to crispy perfection.

Frying Technique

A whole fish is submerged in bubbling hot oil, sizzling and turning golden brown. The chef uses a slotted spoon to carefully flip the fish for even frying

When it comes to deep-frying fish, mastering the frying technique is crucial to achieve that perfect crispy skin and juicy, tender meat. Here are some key factors to consider when deep-frying fish.

Choosing the Right Oil

The choice of oil is essential when deep-frying fish. You want an oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil. These oils have a neutral flavor and can withstand high temperatures without burning. Peanut oil is a popular choice for deep-frying fish because it has a high smoke point and adds a subtle nutty flavor to the fish.

Mastering the Fry

To achieve perfectly crispy fried fish, it's essential to master the frying technique. Here are some tips:

  • Preheat the oil to the recommended temperature for deep-frying fish, usually around 375°F (190°C).
  • Dip the fish into the batter, making sure it's evenly coated.
  • Gently lower the fish into the hot oil and let it fry until it's golden brown and crispy.
  • Flip the fish halfway through the frying process to ensure even cooking.
  • Remove the fish from the oil with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.

Seafood, such as cod, haddock, and tilapia, are great options for deep-frying. These fish have firm white meat that can withstand the high heat of deep-frying without falling apart. For a crispy skin, choose fish with thicker skin, such as sea bass or red snapper.

With these tips, you can achieve perfectly crispy and delicious deep-fried fish every time.

Serving and Presentation

A golden-brown whole fish, garnished with fresh herbs and sliced vegetables, is elegantly arranged on a white platter

Plating the Fish

When serving your Chinese deep fried fish, it's important to consider the presentation of the dish. Begin by placing a paper towel on your serving plate to absorb any excess oil from the fish. Then, carefully transfer the fish to the plate, ensuring that the crust remains intact.

To add a pop of colour and flavour, garnish the dish with sliced green onions and red chillies. This will not only make the dish look more visually appealing, but it will also add a mild spiciness to the flavour profile.

Accompaniments and Sauces

Chinese deep fried fish is traditionally served with steamed white rice. The simplicity of the rice helps to balance out the richness of the dish. You can also serve the fish with a variety of sauces, such as soy sauce or sweet and sour sauce.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also experiment with different types of seafood in your deep fried fish recipe. For example, you can use flounder, tilapia, or even prawns. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly for each type of seafood to ensure that it is cooked through.

Serving and presentation are key components of any Chinese deep fried fish dish. By taking the time to plate the fish properly and consider the accompaniments and sauces, you can elevate this classic dish to a whole new level.

Cooking Tips and Techniques

A whole fish being dipped in a seasoned batter, then carefully lowered into a sizzling wok of hot oil. The fish fries until golden brown, then is lifted out and placed on a paper towel to drain

When it comes to making Chinese deep fried fish, there are a few tips and techniques that can help you achieve the perfect crispy texture and delicious flavour. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Prep Time

Before you start cooking, it's important to make sure your ingredients are properly prepared. This includes patting the fish dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture, and cutting it into bite-sized pieces if necessary. You'll also want to mix together your seasoning ingredients in a mixing bowl so they're ready to go.

Cooking Time

When it comes to cooking the fish, it's important to use the right temperature and timing to ensure it cooks evenly and doesn't become overcooked or undercooked. The oil should be heated to around 180°C and small bubbles should appear to indicate it's hot enough. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan, as this can cause the temperature to drop and result in soggy fish. Cook the fish for around 5-7 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Total Time

Overall, the total time for making Chinese deep fried fish will depend on the amount of fish you're cooking and how many batches you need to fry. However, with proper preparation and cooking techniques, the process should take no more than 30-45 minutes.


The ingredients for Chinese deep fried fish can vary depending on the recipe, but typically include lean white fish such as hake or cod, cornstarch for coating, and seasoning ingredients such as sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and scallions. You can also add other ingredients such as vegetables or seafood to the dish for added flavour and nutrition.


To make Chinese deep fried fish, start by patting the fish dry and seasoning it with a mixture of sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and scallions. Then, coat the fish in cornstarch and shake off any excess. Heat oil in a wok or deep frying pan until hot, and carefully add the fish to the oil. Fry for around 5-7 minutes until golden brown and crispy, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a cooling rack or colander.


Chinese deep fried fish makes for a delicious and satisfying dinner, especially when served with steamed rice or noodles and vegetables. It's a great way to incorporate seafood into your diet, and you can experiment with different types of fish and seasonings to find your perfect combination. So why not give it a try and impress your family and friends with your cooking skills?

Frequently Asked Questions

A whole fish being dipped in batter, then lowered into a sizzling wok of hot oil. Steam rising, golden brown fish emerging

How do you make a sauce for fried fish in the Chinese style?

To make a sauce for fried fish in the Chinese style, you can use a combination of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic, and scallions. Mix these ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Once the fish is fried, pour the sauce over it and garnish with extra scallions and cilantro.

What's the easiest way to prepare Chinese deep fried fish?

The easiest way to prepare Chinese deep fried fish is to marinate the fish in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, and cornstarch. Then, coat the fish in a mixture of cornstarch and flour before deep frying it until crispy. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce.

Which type of fish is most suitable for deep frying in a Chinese recipe?

The most suitable fish for deep frying in a Chinese recipe is a firm white fish such as tilapia, cod, or sea bass. These fish hold up well to deep frying and have a mild flavour that pairs well with Chinese seasonings.

Could you suggest a crispy fried fish recipe with a Chinese twist?

For a crispy fried fish recipe with a Chinese twist, try using sea bass fillets coated in a mixture of cornstarch, flour, and Chinese five-spice powder. Deep fry the fish until crispy and serve with a sweet and sour sauce made from rice vinegar, sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce.

What should you marinate fish in before frying it Chinese style?

Before frying fish Chinese style, marinate it in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, and cornstarch. This will help to flavour the fish and create a crispy coating when fried.

How do you achieve a crispy coating on fish for deep frying?

To achieve a crispy coating on fish for deep frying, first, coat the fish in a mixture of cornstarch and flour. Then, dip the fish in a mixture of beaten egg and water before returning it to the cornstarch and flour mixture for a second coating. Finally, deep fry the fish until crispy and golden brown.

When cooking this recipe, you could try using seafood such as prawns or squid instead of fish for a tasty variation.