Braised Yellow Croaker Fish 红烧黄鱼

I am usually delighted when a Korean eatery serves fried yellow croaker in banchan (small dishes served along with cooked rice in Korean cuisine). The fish has delicate flavor and tender-firm flesh. When fried, they can be such delicious...SNACKS!

This USA wild-caught yellow croaker was purchased from the Korean supermarket - Hankook. "Freshness" caught my attention. Then it reminded me of the yellow croaker ( 黄鱼) dishes that my friend usually cooks - Yellow Croaker Soup and Braised Yellow Croaker. I have always "depended" on my friend on these two dishes and according to her, these two dishes are signature home-style Shanghai dishes. Now, I need to learn how to "fish', instead of being fed "fish" all the time, so I decided to try cooking this Lightly Braised Yellow Croaker  红烧黄鱼 at home.

Frying the fish
Clean and gut the fish, pat dry. Dust some flour on the fish then pan fry the fish both sides (to crisp up both sides of fish). Make sure there is enough hot oil in the wok/pan before frying the fish. Do not move the fish while frying on the first side. It will allow crispy skin to form, and the fish will not stick to the pan. When both sides done, set the fish aside. Leave about 1tbsp of oil in the pan for sauce preparation.

Preparing the sauce
You need, garlic, green onions and ginger. fry to aromatize. Add julienned woodear mushrooms. Add cooking wine to deglaze the pan, then add soy sauce and water for the sauce to simmer. When simmering, gently put the fish back to the pan and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes till fish absorb flavors, and sauce has reduced. Add pinch of sugar, pepper to taste

Garnish with thinly julienned green onions, ginger and red chili. Best served with steamed rice.


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