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Chinese fish dishes

Chinese fish dishes in Yangshuo, where to eat and how to prepare. Yangshuo has it's own specific fish dishes. The fish used is primarily fresh water fish. The Li River and the Yulong River are the principle areas for fishing. When you go to the local markets you will find plenty of fish in all shapes and sizes.

Yangshuo is located at the Li Jiang river and the Yu Long river. Therefore Yangshuo has quite a few fishermen living off river fish in town. Some of them use cormorants for fishing, others use nets and small boats. Thus there are plenty of fresh fish at the Yangshuo market available.


Beerfish is one of the unique Chinese fish dishes only to be found in Yangshuo. There are several good Chinese restaurants in Yangshuo serving beerfish, particularly at Die Cui Road (where the old market used to be) but the best beerfish you still find in Cloud 9. The 7th Heaven Cafe & Hostel also serves a surprisingly good beerfish. But how to make it?

  • 1 ½ kg of carp or a white fish such as sea bass
  • 2 pickled chilies or 1 normal medium sized chili
  • 10g ginger
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic according to taste (chopped thickly)
  • 1-large spring onions
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 large stalk of celery
  • 225ml peanut oil
  • 10ml light soy sauce
  • 10ml oyster sauce
  • 5ml Sesame oil
  • 300ml of light beer
Method Beer fish, specialty in Yangshuo
  • Gut and wash the fish. Cut the fish in half but leave it joined along its back. You need to be able to cook both the inside and out.
  • Chop the tops off the pickled chilies and slice into rings. Chop the ginger into 3cm strips about 3-5mm wide.
  • Chop the top off the green pepper and slice them length ways into strips no longer than 3-4cm.
  • Chop the ends off the celery and slice in length ways into strips about 5mm wide and 3cm long.
  • Quarter both of the tomatoes.
  • Finely chop the spring onion.
  • Heat 200ml of peanut oil in a wok on ¾ heat.
  • Put the split fish, skin down in the wok and fry for 2-3 minutes. Turn the fish over and cook the inside for 1 minute.
  • Drain the oil and set the fish aside on a plate. The fish should now be together so it looks normal.

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chinese fish dish: fish ready for saleSteamed Fish

Steamed fish is another of my favorite Chinese fish dishes. If you ask me, I would prefer steamed sea fish over streamed fresh water fish.

Fresh water fish sometimes smell a bit, especially if it is coming from fish farms where the water is not continuously flowing. Steamed fish is also an essential part of the Chinese wedding dinners. Here's how you can prepare steamed fish yourself and explore another great example of the magnificent Chinese fish dishes. This recipe is based on a working with a whole fish rather then using fish fillet. It's how you will get steamed fish in Yangshuo served.

  • 1 1/2 pounds halibut, cut into 4 pieces
  • 3 green onions, cut into 3 inch lengths
  • 2 fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 leaves napa cabbage, sliced into 4 inch pieces
  • 2 slices fresh ginger root, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup water
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Method steamed fish
  • Arrange 1/2 of the green onions on the bottom of the steaming bowl (it is important to steam in a container in order to retain the steam and juices around the fish). Place 1/2 of the mushrooms and Napa cabbage sections on top of the onions. Place fish on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes over fish. Top with the remaining green onions, mushrooms, and napa cabbage. Drizzle soy sauce and water over everything.
  • Place steam bowl in a steamer over 1 inch of boiling water, and cover. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

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A self caught fish eaten at the river side
Go fishing yourself and bring the fish to a restaurant. Eat it at the riverside.

Sweet & Sour Fish

Of all Chinese fish dishes, sweet & sour is popular, quite easy to make and always good, either with fish, pork or chicken. Like when you order steamed fish, sweet & sour fish is seldom served as fillet but as a whole fish. However, this recipe shows how you can cook with fish fillet.


1 pound fish fillets, such as cod, haddock, or sea bass.


  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Sauce:sweet & sour fish

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, or red or white wine
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water


  • 4 ounces mange tout (snow peas)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, chopped diagonally
  • 2 - 4 cups oil for deep-frying


Rinse the fish fillets and pat dry. Cut into 2-inch squares. Add the fish to the marinade ingredients, using your fingers to mix in the ingredients and adding the cornstarch last. Marinate the fish for 15 minutes.

While the fish is marinating, prepare the sauce and vegetables. In a small bowl, mix together the chicken broth, soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, tomato paste, vinegar and sugar. In a separate small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water.

Blanch the snow peas in boiling water until they turn bright green. Plunge briefly in cold water. Drain thoroughly. Cut the bell pepper in half, remove the seeds and cut into cubes.

Heat the oil to between 360 and 370 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the marinated fish cubes. Deep-fry until they are golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons oil from the wok. Add the ginger and green onion and stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds). Add the snow peas. Stir fry for a minute and add the red bell peppers.

Push the vegetables up to the sides of the wok and add the sauce in the middle. Bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch and water mixture, stirring to thicken. Serve the fish on a platter, covered with the sweet and sour sauce and vegetables.

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It is in Cloud 9 where you start learning how good the Chinese cuisine really is.

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