Sichuan (Szechuan) Spicy Fish Fillet

Sichuan Province is located in the southwest region of China. Its cuisine is known for its bold flavors – mainly, pungent and spicy. The locals are known to use liberal amounts of spices and the Sichuan peppers give their dishes a unique flavor. Their dishes are often viewed as practical and unsophisticated and have been well-received globally.

A popular Sichuan dish is spicy fish fillet. This recipe gives you a simple way to prepare this dish. It is not loaded with too much oil – unlike those often served in restaurants. This dish is best paired with hot steaming rice.


• 2 1-lb Basa fillets, thinly sliced
• 1 tbsp cornstarch
• ½ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp white pepper powder
• 1 tsp Chinese cooking wine
• 4 tbsp canola oil
• 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorn
• 8 dried chili pepper
• 1 tbsp spicy bean paste
• 1 tbsp ginger, minced
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 star aniseed
• ½ cinnamon stick
• 2 scallions, chopped
• 1 tsp chili powder
• 1 tsp sugar
• 1 cup of chicken stock
• 1 cup of water
• 2 lettuce leaves, cored then torn into pieces


This recipe takes about 15 to 20 minutes to make. Serves 4 to 5.

Please the fish fillets in a bowl.
Add salt, cornstarch, white pepper powder, and Chinese cooking wine.
Mix by hand and make sure every filet is coated with the seasoning. Set it aside.
Drizzle canola oil into a pan over medium heat.
Add Sichuan peppercorn and dried chili pepper.
Stir-fry to release the natural oils from the spices for about 2 minutes.
Remove Sichuan peppercorn and dried chili pepper from the pan and set aside.
Turn the heat up to medium-high.
Add spicy bean paste, ginger, garlic, star aniseed, cinnamon stick, half of chopped scallions, chili powder, and sugar.
Sauté for 1 minute.
Pour chicken stock and water into the pan.
Turn the heat up to high.
Once the sauce boils, gently drop the fish fillets.
Gently stir and cook for 4 minutes.
Turn off heat.
Place lettuce leaves in a serving bowl.
Arrange the fish on top of the lettuce leaves.
Pour all the sauce on top.
Garnish with the fried spices and the remaining chopped scallions.

Ideas And Tips:

• To make the dish more authentic, you may serve it with steamed or boiled bean sprouts and Napa cabbage.

• If you want a thicker sauce, you may whisk in cornstarch just before turning the heat off.

Sichuan (Szechuan) Spicy Fish Fillet
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