Braised Hairtail

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1 lb. hairtail
3.1/2 oz. minced pork
1 tablespoon dried shrimps
2/3 tablespoon fermented soya beans (optional)
2 tablespoons soya sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1.1/2 tablespoons cooking wine
1/2 teaspoon gourmet powder
2 teaspoons sugar
7 tablespoons peanut oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon cornflour in 1 tablespoon water
4 teaspoons scallion
2 teaspoons ginger root
a pinch of pepper

1) Draw hairtail and trim them by cutting off heads, fins and tails. Scrape both sides clean of fine silvery coating. Cut into 2-inch sections. Wash thoroughly.

Wash dried shrimps with cold water. Soak in warm water and then chop fine.

Also wash fermented soya beans. Chop fine.

Mince scallion and ginger.

Mix egg with cornflour solution into a batter.

2) Wipe hairtail sections with a dry cloth. Coat them with egg-batter.

3) Heat pan on fire and pour in peanut oil. Fry fish till brown on both sides. Remove. Empty pan of most of the oil.

Heat remnant oil in pan. Stir-fry minced pork in it. Follow with dried shrimps, fermented soya beans, minced scallion and ginger. Stir-fry until it smells good. Add soya. sauce, cooking wine, salt, sugar, pepper and gourmet powder, to be followed by a cup of boiling water. Place hairtail sections in again. Bring to a boil. Then simmer for 15 minutes over low fire. It is ready to be served when the sauce is nearly exhausted.


(1) This way of braising calls for the near-exhaustion of the sauce except the gravy so that the fish will be richly flavored.

(2) The hairtail may also be fried without coating with egg batter. That is, first marinate it with cooking wine, soya sauce and salt; then fry it till dark red; finally simmer it as in step 3. Cooked this way, the dish may also be served cold.

(3) Fermented soya bean has a distinctive taste of its own and its amount may vary according to individual preferences.

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© 2008 Chinese Recipes