a 1.1/2-1b. grass carp
2 tablespoons soya sauce
1/2 teaspoon gourmet powder
2 tablespoons cooking wine
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons thick broad-bean hot sauce of Sichuan
2 tablespoons scallion
1 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon garlic
5 cups peanut oil (consumption about 7%)
1) Scale and draw fish. Cut off fins. Wash it clean.
Cut fine scallion, ginger root and garlic.
Chop broad-bean sauce into a fine paste.
2) Heat peanut oil in fry pan till it smokes. Slip in fish and fry till it is more than half-done. Remove and drain. Empty pan.
3) Set pan again on fire. Pour in 3.1/2 tablespoons of peanut oil. Fry broad-bean sauce till oil becomes red and smells good. Add minced scallion (1 tablespoon), ginger and garlic. Stir a couple of times before putting in 2 cups or slightly more of boiling water. Follow with sugar, cooking wine, soya sauce and vinegar. When this boils, slip in fish. Bring to a boil on high heat and changing to low fire, keep it at a gentle boil for about 20 minutes. Put in gourmet powder.
Mix cornflour with some water.
4) Remove fish and put it in serving plate. Thicken the sauce (which remains in the pan) with cornflour solution. Sprinkle sesame oil on sauce and pour sauce over fish. Garnish with the remaining tablespoon of minced scallion by scattering it on top.
(1) The dish is named after the "thick broad-bean hot sauce of Sichuan", the best of which is produced in Pixian County of that province. Made of 70% red hot pepper (shredded) and 30% broad beans, salted and fermented together, it is of purplish red color, brightly brilliant. For those who like hot food, it is a very appetizing ingredient. Fish cooked with this sauce will be lustrously red, hot-flavored, and with a rich after-taste.
(2) To use this thick sauce with fish (or any other food), it must be chopped fine and then fried in a well-heated pan with much oil until it becomes crisp and makes the oil red. Otherwise, its flavor will fail to come out and its color will not be bright; it may even spoil the flavor of the dish.
(3) If a live fish is used for this dish, it does not have to be well fried. The procedure: rub a little beaten egg on fish and fry it till slightly yellowed on both sides; and then proceed with the sauce.