Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce

Authentic Chinese Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce Recipe – A Fiery Seafood Delight

Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce – a dish that marries the delicate flavors of fish with the robust, fiery notes of spicy bean sauce. This culinary delight is a staple in many Asian cuisines, and its popularity has spread across the globe. Let’s dive deeper into this dish, exploring cooking tips, serving suggestions, FAQs, and more.

Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce

Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce

Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce

Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce - a dish that marries the delicate flavors of fish with the robust, fiery notes of spicy bean sauce. This culinary delight is a staple in many Asian cuisines, and its popularity has spread across the globe. Let's dive deeper into this dish, exploring cooking tips, serving suggestions, FAQs, and more.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 people
Calories 308 kcal


  • 1 steamer or heatproof plate
  • 1 wok
  • 1 serving dish


  • 1 large tilapia fillet

For slurry

  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

For sauce

  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon spicy bean sauce douban
  • 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Ground white pepper

Other ingredients

  • 1-2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil or as needed
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup ground pork
  • 1/4 cup shiitake mushrooms finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrot finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Cooked rice for serving

For garnish

  • 2 teaspoons cilantro chopped
  • 2 teaspoons green onion chopped


  • Use a steamer, or steam the fish on a heatproof plate on a rack over 1 inch of water, covered, for 10 minutes. The fish is done when a butter knife can easily cut through it to the bottom. Remove it from the heat and place it on a serving dish.
  • Combine the ingredients for the slurry in a small bowl, and set aside.
  • Mix the ingredients for the sauce together, and set aside.
  • Heat a wok over high heat. Add the oil with the onions and garlic, and cook for a few seconds until fragrant.
  • Add the pork, mushrooms, carrot, and bell pepper. Stir-fry for about 1 minute.
  • Stir in the sauce and water, and bring it to a simmer.
  • Stir in the slurry and cook until the sauce coats a spoon. Add water if sauce becomes too thick.
  • Season with the sesame oil, remove it from the heat, and pour it over the steamed fish.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro and green onion, and serve hot over rice.



Start with fresh and firm fish fillets of your choice, such as snapper, cod, or tilapia. Ensure the fillets are patted dry to achieve a crispy exterior. Lightly coat them in cornstarch to create a delicate crust that will absorb the spicy bean sauce beautifully. Pan-fry the fish until it turns golden brown and cooks through, maintaining its moisture and tenderness.
Keyword Bean Sauce, Fish

Cooking Tips

Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce

Creating the perfect Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce is a culinary journey that requires a blend of skills, knowledge, and a passion for flavors. Here’s a detailed guide to help you master this dish.

Choosing the Right Fish

The first step in creating a flawless Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce is selecting the right fish. Opt for a firm white fish like cod, halibut, or sea bass. These types of fish have a mild flavor that pairs beautifully with the robust spicy bean sauce. They also maintain their structure during cooking, ensuring that your dish looks as good as it tastes.

When buying fish, look for clear, bright eyes and firm, shiny flesh. The fish should smell fresh and not overly fishy. If possible, buy your fish from a reputable fishmonger who can guide you in choosing the best piece.

Marinating the Fish

Marinating the fish before cooking can enhance its flavor and ensure that it remains moist and tender during cooking. A simple marinade of soy sauce, rice wine, and ginger can infuse the fish with a depth of flavor that complements the spicy bean sauce.

Ensure that the fish is fully coated in the marinade and let it sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate. However, avoid marinating for too long as the acids in the marinade can start to cook the fish, altering its texture.

Crafting the Spicy Bean Sauce

The spicy bean sauce is the heart of this dish. It provides the fiery kick and robust flavor that makes Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce so irresistible. You can use a high-quality store-bought sauce or make your own at home for a more authentic flavor.

If you’re making your own sauce, consider using fermented black beans, chili, garlic, and soy sauce as your base ingredients. Feel free to adjust the quantities to suit your taste. Remember, the sauce should be spicy but not overpowering, as it needs to complement the fish rather than overshadow it.

Cooking the Fish

The final step in creating the perfect Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce is cooking the fish. The key here is to avoid overcooking. Fish cooks quickly and continues to cook even after it’s removed from the heat due to residual heat. Therefore, it’s best to cook the fish just until it flakes easily with a fork.

If you’re pan-frying the fish, ensure that the pan is hot before adding the fish to prevent it from sticking. Cook the fish on one side until it’s golden brown, then flip it gently using a fish spatula to avoid breaking it.

Serving Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce: A Masterclass in Presentation

Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce

Serving Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce is about more than just transferring the dish from the pan to the plate. It’s about creating a visual feast that complements the bold, fiery flavors of the dish. Here’s an in-depth guide to help you serve this Asian delicacy with flair and finesse.

Plating the Fish

The first step in serving Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce is plating. The choice of plate can significantly impact the overall presentation. Opt for a large, flat plate that provides ample space to showcase the fish and its vibrant sauce.

When placing the fish on the plate, ensure it’s centered and positioned in a way that highlights its golden-brown color and succulent texture. Pour the spicy bean sauce over the fish, ensuring it’s evenly coated but not drowned. The sauce should enhance the fish, not hide it.

Adding Accompaniments

Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce pairs well with a variety of accompaniments. Steamed jasmine rice or noodles can provide a mild, comforting contrast to the robust flavors of the fish and sauce. Arrange the rice or noodles neatly on the side of the fish, creating a visually balanced plate.

A side of stir-fried vegetables can add a refreshing crunch and a pop of color to the dish. Consider using a mix of colorful vegetables like bell peppers, snow peas, and carrots. Arrange them elegantly next to the fish, adding another layer of visual appeal.

Garnishing the Dish

Garnishing is the final touch that can elevate your Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce from a home-cooked meal to a restaurant-quality dish. Fresh herbs like cilantro or green onions can add a burst of freshness and a vibrant green color that contrasts beautifully with the rich color of the sauce.

Consider adding a few slices of fresh red chili for an extra hint of heat and a pop of red color. If you want to add a touch of sophistication, garnish with a few sprigs of microgreens or a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

The Final Presentation

Once your dish is plated, garnished, and ready to serve, consider the overall presentation. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe any spills or smudges off the rim of the plate. Ensure the table or serving area is clean and uncluttered, allowing your dish to be the star of the show.


Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce

Can I use any type of fish for this recipe?

While you can technically use any type of fish, firm white fish tend to work best due to their mild flavor and sturdy texture.

Can I make the spicy bean sauce at home?

Absolutely! Making your own spicy bean sauce allows you to control the level of spice and customize the flavors to your liking.

How can I prevent the fish from falling apart while cooking?

Gentle handling, not overcooking, and using a fish spatula can help maintain the integrity of the fish.

What can I serve with Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce?

Steamed jasmine rice, noodles, or stir-fried vegetables make excellent accompaniments.

Can I store leftover Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce?

Yes, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce is a dish that promises a culinary adventure. The delicate fish paired with the bold, fiery spicy bean sauce creates a harmony of flavors that is truly irresistible. With the right techniques and a passion for cooking, you can master this dish and impress your loved ones. So, why wait? It’s time to explore the exciting world of Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce!