Chilean Seabass – 1 pound
Organic Shitake Mushrooms – 100 grams
Green Onion – 2 stalks
Ginger – 8 grams
Garlic – 3 cloves
Dried Chili Peppers – 50 grams
Red Sichuan Peppercorns – 15 grams
Chili-Bean Paste – 3 tablespoons
Olive Oil – 1 tablespoon
Sesame Oil – 1 tablespoon
Water – 4 cups
Sea Salt – 1 teaspoon
Cilantro – few springs
Sichuan Boiled Fish (水煮鱼 Shuǐ Zhǔ Yú) – The Sichuan Province, a province in the southwest of China, takes pride in its diverse ethnic culture and outstanding cuisine. Centuries ago, the Sichuan cuisine experienced a culinary awakening when European explorers brought chili peppers from the New World to Asia. The Sichuan cuisine has a special character, influenced by the region’s warm climate, diverse ingredients and various cooking techniques. The Chili Peppers and Sichuan Peppercorns (花椒 huā jiāo) are primary ingredients in the Sichuan cuisine. The Sichuan Peppercorns, also known as Sichuan Peppers, are fragrant spices harvested from a tree-shrub of the citrus family. The two edible species are red and green Sichuan Peppers, defined by their citrusy flavor, potent aroma and numbing sensation they produce. In Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan Province, we discover bewildering varieties of spices and purchase for our recipe red Sichuan Peppercorns. We use Dried Chili Peppers mixed with spices, offered as a gift from the chef of our hotel. We select the “Hot Oil” Judy Fu’s Gourmet Sauce, available in Asian markets in the USA, containing chili pepper and a broad bean paste. The Chilean Seabass has a mild flavor and a buttery texture, complementing the fragrant herbs and the Sichuan spices. Our flavorful Sichuan Boiled Fish recipe recreates our culinary experiences in the lively city of Chengdu.
Step 1 – Slice the fish and mushrooms, julienne the ginger and mince the garlic.
Step 2 – In a medium pot, sauté the garlic and ginger in olive oil for 30 seconds. Add the water, shitake mushrooms, dried chili peppers, Sichuan peppercorns and chili-bean paste, and then boil for 10 minutes on medium heat.
Step 3 – Add the fish, green onions and salt, then simmer for a few minutes.
Step 4 – In a small sauce pan, heat the sesame oil. Serve the fish in medium bowls and cover with the hot sesame oil.
Step 5 – Sprinkle fresh cilantro on the fish and enjoy the flavors of the Sichuan spices. Note: The Chili Peppers and Sichuan Peppercorns are only used to flavor the dish and shall not be eaten.