I’d like to share with you a classic chinese recipe for fried fish. It works for various species of bass and croaker.


In today’s video, we’d like to try it with freshly caught carp for two reasons. First, catch-and-release is not allowed at my local lakes. Second, many people claim that carp caught in US has more “muddy” flavor than that caught in China, so we’d like to find out if this recipe can manage that.

We’ve learned a few tips to reduce the muddy flavor.
Fish carp in lakes with good water quality and bleed the fish while alive
Cut the tail off, tap on the fish so that the lateral lines can be easily removed by a tweezer
Avoid skin or red meat. Note that we kept skin on in the video during the cooking process, mainly to keep it tender inside without falling apart.

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Ingredients include 3 pounds fish, 3 tbsp starch, 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, 1 tbsp cooking wine, 1 ½ tsp salt, a tsp chinese thirteen-spices, 1 egg, 1 green onion, 5 gram threaded gingers.

After cleaning and cutting the fish into pieces as shown in the video, mix the fish with egg, diced green onion, 1 tsbp cooking wine, 1 tsp salt, ⅔ tsp thirteen-spices, and 1 tbsp all-purpose flour in a large bowl. Cover it with food wrap and leave it in fridge for about 1 hour.

To make batter, let’s mix 3 tbsp starch and the remaining flour (1 tbs), thirteen-spices (⅓ tsp) and salt (½ tsp) into another bowl. Mix them with water until the batter drips slowly from the chop sticks.

When we’re ready to fry the fish, set the burner on medium till the oil reaches 350 degrees. After coating the marinated fish with batter, we fry it till it turns yellow-light brown and then take it out. The key for crispy fish is to have a second fry with the burner set to medium-high. The double fry will turn the fish into golden brown and very crispy outside.

How is the result? It’s very crispy outside and tender inside, much better than the braised carp we tried earlier :-)

Warning: carp contains many small floating bones. Try a different fish with this recipe if you’d like to avoid fish bones.