The Most Famous Sichuan Spicy Boiled Fish Recipe 水煮魚 CiCi Li

It’s said that Sichuan spicy boiled fish recipe was invented by a Sichuan Chef. And the original version was boiled pork slices. But there was one time a good friend of him visited him at home but this friend didn’t eat pork. So he created a boiled fish fillet. From then on the dish becomes one of the most famous Sichuan dishes ever! Check out this recipe now!

1 tilapia fish fillet, about 8 ounces, sliced
6 tablespoons of oil
6 leaves of Napa cabbage, cut into 2-inch-pieces
3 ounces of Chinese celery, chopped
6 gloves of garlic, minced
1/2 of a thumb of ginger, minced
1 tablespoon of spicy soy bean sauce
2 cups of chicken stock
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of corn starch mix with 2 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon of red chili powder
1 teaspoon of Sichuan pepper corn powder
3 tablespoons of oil

Fish marinade:
1/2 of an egg white
A pinch of salt
A pinch of pepper
A pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon of corn starch with 2 tablespoons of water

Slice the tilapia.

In a bowl, add 1/2 of an egg white, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, a pinch of sugar, 1 tablespoon of corn starch with 2 tablespoons of water. Then marinate the fish for about 10 minutes. (When we marinate the fish with egg white and corn starch water, the fish won’t break apart easily while cooking, and yet it will be super tender after it’s fully cooked.)

In a pan, add 3 tablespoons of oil, and then bring in the chopped Napa cabbage and chopped Chinese celery, and stir fry for about 1 minute. Season them with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. Transfer them into a big bowl.

In a pot, boil water, and introduce fish slice into it. When the water is boiled again, turn off the heat, and let it poach until well done for about 3 minutes (We poached the fish because it would make its texture softer and smoother than boiling it.)

In the pan, add 3 tablespoons of oil, and then add 6 gloves of minced garlic, 1/2 of a thumb of minced ginger, 1 tablespoon of spicy soy bean sauce, and wait until the aroma comes out. Then introduce 2 cups of chicken stock and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. When the chicken stock is boiled, then transfer the poached fish into the pan. Finally add 2 tablespoons of corn starch mix with 2 tablespoons of water and slowly stir in a circular motion. Transfer the fish into the big bowl.

In a small pan, heat up 3 tablespoons of oil.

In the big bowl, add 1 teaspoon of red chili powder and 1 teaspoon of Sichuan pepper corn powder. (You can buy this type of Sichuan pepper corn in any Asian supermarkets but I ground mine from Sichuan pepper corns.) Lastly, pour the oil on top of dish.

Our fish is ready, but before we taste the fish. Let’s check out The Food Ranger’s travel videos. He travels all around the world for delicious good eats. And this week he’s in China and he’s eating Sichuan Spicy Boiled Fish right now. Let’s take a look!

Stay in touch with CiCi:


luticia says:

I would love to learn how to prepare dumplings with vegetables and seafood. No other meat (because besides fish & seafood, I’m “vegetarian”)
-Thank you!

Tina Garcia says:

can I substitute bok choy for the chinese celery?

Thomas Carmody says:

This would be a good recipe for Lenten Fridays.

Mehak Qureshi says:

can u please make spicy cumin lamb noodles???

Mathias Fahlström says:

any possibility of making the beef version of zhuizhu? or would i just use the exact same method but use beef instead of the tilapia?

Leena Shedge says:

wow this is so good!!!!! can we prepare this with chicken instead of fish??? in that case how to cook chicken? same process? please upload this recipe with chicken.. thank you!!!!

John Iwuji says:

i love fish

Politically correct speech isn't my thing, fk off says:

i liked Sichuan Boiled Fish (水煮鱼) – China Sichuan Food
video better

Cleopatra Philopater says:

Hi, This is a very nice recipe, and it looks very soft and tasty, but right now I’m very fond of Tsongzi, and the version that you did was without “meat” and beans!Can you please make us your own version of the tsongzi with your favourite filling?Thanks …

Niu Niu says:

very hard not sure if I can make it, maybe better I go to sichuan restaurant

Charlize Aliyah says:

she looks like Sandara Park..

Humaima Anwar says:

can you make dumpling soup.

stephanie2796 says:

Hi! is the spicy soy bean sauce the same thing as Dou ban jian? thank you!

Lisa Duong says:

Ci Ci !!! Off the Great Wall took me here!!

Pengfei Yan says:

I really like Sichuan pepper powder. This dish looks amazingly yummy. I also like the suancai yu, another fav fish dish.

Jonathon Simon says:

OMG! – at 02:11 you said “pot” perfectly – absolutely perfect…like a native speaker. 加油.

luticia says:

WOow I really HAVE to cook this recipe!

gabriella schweska says:

OMG I love you

Patrick Li says:

When dishes are spicy, I’ll drink tons and tons of water, not just any kind of water, freezing cold water right out of the fridge!!!

californyaeh says:

Looks yummy ..and numbing..!
Great video !

nyc0053 says:

This episode is amazing! Well done CiCi.

The Laughing Dove says:

this looks so incredible! I love seeing more traditional dishes because there’s so much old cleverness packed into them….I learned so many new things about cooking in just this one dish!

foxbow90 says:

Is the paste you used the same as doubanjiang?

kabe1006az says:

I like how the lips dont match the voice halfway through…just like a kung fu movie, haha.

themenacingstranger says:

I am definitely making this recipe right away. Looks great.

The Makeup Daddy says:

I just ate this in London China town it’s got to be the most unhealthiest dish I’ve ever eaten in my life. It was literally a bowl of oil for £12. Man I feel sick!

Jingai Jigokumoto says:

Make durian ice cream.

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