Catfish is tenderised and cooked in a spicy Szechuan stock, before being served over celery and Chinese leaf. The dish is then topped with a fried Szechuan peppercorn, chilli and garlic mix.
Szechuan peppercorns taste completely different to everyday peppercorns. It's worth hunting for them for this recipe. You will find them in Chinese/Oriental speciality stores. Szechuan bean sauce can also be found in Chinese/Oriental speciality stores.
It's not that I thought the dish was inedible, but I've had many szechuan fish dishes...and this is not reminiscent of any of them. First, there's no way that the napa and celery would cook thoroughly by soaking in hot broth and having hot oil poored over it. The fish did not take on much flavor either. I will not be repeating this one. - 23 Jun 2011 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
This guy has it right for the most part. The celery, and cabbage do need to be cooked, along with the garlic and ginger. With the bean paste at direction #3 in oil, before you add the water, or stock. I love the Sichuan region for the layers of flavors you can create in a short time. With the bean paste you can play with many more flavors. Dark soy, Black vinegar, sugar, sesame oil(use sparingly), and I would add some toasted white sesame seeds, and scallions cut on a bias as garnish, instead of cilantro. even though the chilis were brought to Sichuan from there, thats where it should stop. - 15 Feb 2012 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
love it! - 12 May 2010 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)