Spicy Szechuan Fish

Spicy Szechuan Fish


11 people made this

About this recipe: 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.


Serves: 2 

  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornflour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3 thin slices fresh root ginger
  • 1 (175g) fillet catfish or cod, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 10 Szechuan peppercorns
  • 2-4 Thai chillies
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons Szechuan bean sauce
  • 475ml water
  • 3 sticks celery, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 75g Chinese leaf, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 sprigs coriander

Prep:30min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:50min 

  1. Stir the egg white, cornflour, white pepper and egg white together in a bowl; add the catfish and mix to coat. Set aside and allow to marinate at least 15 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat; cook and stir the peppercorns and chillies in the hot oil until they turn a very dark red (they will look almost black, so be careful not to burn them). Remove the chillies and peppercorns from the frying pan. Finely chop the chillies. Mash the peppercorns finely; set aside.
  3. Return the frying pan to the medium heat and add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and the bean sauce; cook and stir the bean sauce with the oil until the mixture turns red. Stir the water into the sauce, increase heat to high and cook until the sauce simmers. Remove the ginger slices from the marinating fish and add to the boiling sauce; cook the fish until the flesh turns white.
  4. Divide the celery and Chinese leaf between two soup bowls. Pour the fish and sauce over the vegetables. Top with the garlic, peppercorns and chillies.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan over high heat until it just begins to smoke; carefully pour the hot oil over the garlic, peppercorns and chillies. Garnish each portion with coriander to serve.


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.

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