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Whole Crisp Fish with Sichuan Sauce

Whole Crisp Fish with Sichuan Sauce

This delicious mouth-watering crispy fish recipe is quick and easy to prepare. The WOW presentation is dramatic enough for a VIP dinner or a casual weeknight. The fish skin is crispy and the flesh delicious and flavorful. Any remaining bones also get crispy and can be eaten along with the flesh. My husband even eats the tail like potato chips! The savory sauce is aromatic and just spicy enough to wake up your palate. I use a really good-quality soy sauce that is not salty, but instead is earthy and complex. Serve the fish with steamed rice, noodles and your favorite vegetables. For a dramatic presentation, mound rice on a platter and stand the fish up in the mound of rice. Drizzle the sauce over the fish and serve.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings



  • 2 whole fish (about 1½ pounds each), gutted and scaled (I use red snapper or black bass)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • About 2 cups peanut oil or other oil appropriate for high-heat cooking


  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 (3-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and grated on a microplane
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 scallions/ green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon high-quality soy sauce (I use Raw Organic Nama Shoyu)
  • 1½ tablespoons chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


1. Pat dry the fish and season the fish, inside and out, with salt and pepper. Dust the outside of the fish with cornstarch. 

2. Heat enough oil for the fish to be mostly submerged in a wok over high heat. Place the fish in the hot oil (350°F) and fry on 1 side for about 8-10 minutes until the fish is crispy and browned. Carefully turn the fish over (I use a spatula in one hand and tongs in the other) and fry for another 6-8 minutes until crispy. Repeat with the other fish. 

3.Remove most of the oil from the wok and reduce the heat to medium. Add the ingredients for the sauce and cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and the sugar is completely dissolved.

4.Place the fish on a platter and pour the sauce over. Serve immediately.

Recipe originally published in JOY of KOSHER with Jamie Geller Magazine Winter 2013 SUBSCRIBE NOW

Chanukah 2013 Magazine