Main Dishes

Chinese Dried-Braised Bream

Dried-braising is a typical Chinese cuisine which brings strong aroma and spice flavor to a dish and make it most appetizing! The spicy soy bean paste is the key flavoring of this dish. If unavailable, the alternative non-spicy soy bean paste plus finely chopped large red chili pepper; or fermented soy bean, a little extra dark soy sauce and chopped red chili pepper.

2 bream (about 24 oz. edible weight)
1/4 oz. garlic
1/4 oz. shallot
1/4 oz. ginger
1 T. cooking wine
2 tsp. soy sauce (dark)
1 T. vinegar
3/4 oz. spicy soy bean paste
to taste salt
2 T. vegetable oil
Cut out the head and tail of each fish, and chop the middle part into 5-6 pieces crossway (1"-1.5" thickness). Rub the salt on the surface of fish and pickle for 10 minutes. Slice the ginger. Cut the shallot into 1” pieces. Heat the oil in a pan. Fry the pickled fish, turn over once one side gets golden brown on the surface (about 2 minutes). Once the other side of the fish also turns golden, add the cooking wine, soy sauce and vinegar. Add water to immerse half of the fish. When the soup comes to boil, add the spicy soy bean paste, ginger, garlic and shallot, and stir to combine. (Set aside some pieces of shallot close to the leave and green for garnishing.) Cover and cook over medium heat until the sauce turns thick. Serve garnished with the remaining pieces of shallot. Note: keep the time for frying short, and take out the fish at the last step as soon as the sauce thickens, so as to prevent the fish from becoming tough.


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