For a more child-friendly version of the fiery Sichuan mala fish, try one braised in the traditional Sichuan bean paste. More people in the family will be able to handle the heat and it will still be as delicious.
- 1 whole sea bass
- 150 ml oil
- 50 g bean paste (Pi Xian doubanjiang from Yue Hwa Chinese Products)
- 20 g ginger
- 10 g spring onion
- 20 g garlic
- 400 ml water
- Soya sauce to taste
- 30 g sugar
- 20 ml huatiao wine
- Salt to taste
- 20 g cornstarch
- 20 ml vinegar
Wash the fish and pat dry with paper towels.
In a wok, heat the oil over high heat. Place the fish in the wok, frying on each side till it is cooked and the skin is golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To the remaining oil in the wok, add the bean paste, ginger, spring onion and garlic. Stir-fry for a few minutes until fragrant. Then add water, soya sauce, sugar, wine and salt. Finally, add the fish to cook in the sauce for a few minutes.
Remove the fish and place on a platter. Add cornstarch to the sauce so it thickens, then stir in the vinegar.
Pour the sauce over the fish and serve hot.
Recipe: Chef Zeng Feng/Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant / Photo: Lee Jia Wen/The Straits Times