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Shui Zhu Yu


Total Time: 50 min (Prep 30 min; Cook 20 min)

Yield: 2 servings




1 egg white, beaten

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

3 thin slices fresh ginger root

1 (6 ounce) fillet basa, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

10 Sichuan peppercorns

5 dried chile de arbol peppers

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 teaspoons Sichuan bean sauce

2 cups water

3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 cup sliced Napa cabbage

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 sprigs cilantro



Shui Zhu Yu


1.Stir the egg white, cornstarch, white pepper, and egg white together in a bowl; add the basa and mix to coat. Set aside and allow to marinate at least 15 minutes.


2.Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir the peppercorns and dried chile peppers in the hot oil until they turn a very dark red (they will look almost black, so be careful not to burn the chilies). Remove the dried chili peppers and peppercorns from the skillet. Mince the chile peppers. Mash the peppercorns finely; set aside.


3.Return the skillet 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 at a boil until the flesh turns white.


4.Divide the celery and cabbage between two soup bowls. Pour the fish and sauce over the celery and cabbage. Top with the garlic, peppercorns, and chile peppers.


5.Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over high heat until it just begins to smoke; carefully pour the hot oil over the garlic, peppercorns, and chile peppers. Garnish each portion with cilantro to serve.