Although I have seen different festivals celebrations in Spain — which every time was a totally amazing new experience, it is my first time to see the actual Easter celebration. The festival has lasted almost a week, and today it finished with the resurrection — in the sun!!
People from different neighborhoods all dressed up, organized into a long parade marching through the streets. Their facial expressions became serious with the ‘music’ — in sorrow for the loss of Jesus, then relief for the resurrection. Some programs started 12 o’clock midnight, not only we went to watch, but also without realizing, we joined in marching group!! :)) — What more can I say – I totally merged myself in this culture…
I have been really enjoying Spanish food, well, more precisely, my mother-in-law’s food — I am so spoiled, definitely have got bigger, but that food is just so irresistible. After a few days, just realized that I haven’t shared any Chinese recipes for a long while. Oh, you know what, today, then it is exactly a year since I started writing this blog. There have been lots of things happening, as I have been complaining about google indexing problems already a few times … But let’s hope we can catch up after the mess. Since writing this blog, I have made lots of friends, shared lots in life … as well as on the dining table, ha…
So I think I should share a nice dish to celebrate — a fish — a whole fish.
If you have been reading my blog, you probably already know that fish dishes are very important on Chinese dining table, especially a whole fish — with all the cultural signs… I really don’t have much chance to cook a whole fish, I mean with the head and tail. Firstly, it is not easy to get the right one over here, secondly, my (western) friends, including my husband, sometimes think that presenting a whole fish on the table is a bit weird.
Anyway, you can think it is a cultural dish as well as a recipe. :)) This recipe is actually a very easy one — it is called ‘Jiao zhi yu’. Jiaozhi, as I mentioned before, it can be explained as ‘pouring the sauce’. It is a very common method of cooking northern Chinese dishes. I already shared some Jiaozhi recipes before. (Yu (2) as fish.)
I can only share some simple still photos here, but if you ever had chance to see it in the ‘open kitchen’ restaurant how the chefs make it, it is really amazing! :))
oops, I have been too talkative today. Here is how the simple recipe.
Fish (Normally carp is the best for this dish, however, other types of fish, like sea bass are also good.)
Oil, spring onion, ginger, garlic, ground Sichuan peppercorn, vinegar, sugar, salt, cooking wine, light soy sauce, corn flour (for thickening the sauce), plain flour (optional), coriander (optional)
1) Clean the fish, use knife make some even ‘cut’ on both sides of the fish. Apply a small spoon of ground Sichuan peppercorn and vinegar on the fish along with some salt, leave it for around half hour. This is very useful for getting rid of the ‘fishy’ smell.
2) Chop around 4 gloves garlic, one spring onion, and a small piece of ginger into small pieces.
3) Prepare a cornflour and water mix.
1) Slightly dust some plain flour on the surface of the fish, both side.
2) In a heated wok, pour in oil. (Probably a few cups, enough to merge the fish.)
3) When the oil is about 70% hot, hold the tail of the fish, gradually slide the fish in the oil to fry. (Be careful, there might be hot oil spill.)
4) Fry the fish in the oil, until both side are ‘crispy’. — Here, if you can see how the chefs do, it is really beautiful, they would hold the tail of the fish in one hand, and the other hand uses one ladle to pour the hot oil on the body of the fish — to fry.
5) Once, the both sides of the fish is well done, and ideally the surface is ‘crispy’, place the fish on a plate.
6) In the wok, remain around 1- 2 tablespoons of oil, add in chopped spring onion, ginger, garlic.
7) When the smell of the spring onion, ginger, garlic raising up from the wok, add in around 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon of cooking wine, 1/3 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 tablespoon of sugar.
8) Then add in prepared corn flour thickening mix.
9) When the sauce in the wok is bubbling up, pour the sauce on the fish. —
If you like, add some freshly chopped coriander and carrot on top of the fish, for the fresh smell, and for the ‘presentation’ of the plate. :)))
This way of cooking, most of the taste of the sauce remains on the surface, underneath, the meat is still very fresh, or if you like, you can dip the meat in the sauce.
It is great to go with boiled rice or beer…probably, white wine is also good.
Oh, one more thing, if you have guests, how to place the fish is very important in Chinese culture. The head of the fish should be placed face the most important guest on the dining table. See my culture note. :)
- Fish (normally carp or sea bass)
- Spring onion
- Ground Sichuan peppercorn
- Cooking wine
- Light soy sauce
- Corn flour
- Plain flour (optional)
- Coriander (optional)
- Clean the fish
- Make some even ‘cut’ on both sides of the fish
- Apply a small spoon of ground Sichuan peppercorn and vinegar on the fish along with some salt, and leave it for around half hour.
- Chop four garlic gloves, one spring onion, and a small piece of ginger into small pieces.
- Prepare a cornflour and water mix.
- Slightly dust some plain flour on both sides of the fish.
- In a heated wok, pour in some oil.
- When the oil is getting hot, hold the tail of the fish, gradually slide the fish in the oil to fry.
- Fry the fish until both sides are ‘crispy’.
- Place the fish on a plate.
- In the wok, leave 1- 2 tablespoons of oil, add in chopped spring onion, ginger, garlic.
- When the smell of the spring onion, ginger, garlic raising up from the wok, add in 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon of cooking wine, ⅓ teaspoon of salt, ½ tablespoon of sugar.
- Add in prepared corn flour thickening mix.
- When the sauce in the wok is bubbling up, pour the sauce on the fish.