West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy
Style: Zhejiang Cuisine
Characteristics: Due to the special soup sauce with different seasonings, the dish is sweet and sour, and even has a slight smell of crab. It tastes tender and fresh, without using a drop of cooking oil.
As a very popular Hangzhou dish, West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy can be dated back to the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 - 1279). It's said that a woman nick-named Sister Song operated a restaurant outside the ancient Qiantang Gate near the West Lake, Hangzhou, serving delicious fish soups. One day, Zhao Gou, Emperor Gaozong of the dynasty visited the lake and happened to have the fish soup. He spoke highly of the soup and awarded Sister Song. After that, Sister Song Fish Soup became renowned. Later, Sister Song developed her cooking skills and invented another dish - West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy. Currently, at Lou Wai Lou Restaurant (Tower Beyond Tower) in Hangzhou, people can enjoy delicious and authentic West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy.
Grass carp is the major ingredient of the dish. Before cooking with the recipe below, the fish should be stopped being fed for two days so that all excretions can be released. Then the earthy taste shall vanish. With such a process and a special cooking method, the fish would taste fairly fresh.
a grass carp, 750g
ginger; green onions; cooking wine; white granulated sugar;
white pepper ground; soy sauce; vinegar; starch
Note: the amount of the ingredients especially the seasonings above can be appropriately used according to one's personal taste.
1. Gut the fish and clean it. Remove its gill. Horizontally cut/split the fish into two pieces. Place them on a large plate.
2. Peel the ginger. Clean and cut it into small slices.
3. Clean and cut the green onions into 4-5cm sections.
4. Pour some starch into a bowl. Add some water and whisk to mix them. Then the starchy sauce is ready.
Place a wok over high heat and add around 600ml water. Add in ginger and green onions. Then pour in about 15ml cooking wine. Stir and mix them. Heat the mixture until water boils.
Put the fish into the boiling water. Switch the heat to low fire. In order to avoid the water boiling, add a proper amount of cold water for several times and just soak the fish in water. Maintain the process for 10 minutes. Pick out the fish.
Leave around 250ml fish soup in the wok. Pick out the ginger and green onions. After that, add in 30-50g white granulated sugar, 2-3 spoonful of soy sauce and vinegar, 5g white pepper ground, and 10-15ml cooking wine. Stir to mix them well. Heat the mixture with low fire until the soup boils. Then add in the starchy sauce. Fully mix them all and turn off the heat. Now, the soup sauce is ready.
Pour the glutinous soup sauce on the cooked fish. The West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy is finished.
Nutrition Value of Grass Carp
Legend of the West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy
Learn to make more Chinese dishes:
Steamed Fish with
Chopped Red Chili