Pan-Fried Fish in Soy and Ginger Sauce

There is a popular Chinese dish in which a whole fish is deep-fried in a wok of hot oil. This method of cooking provides more depth of flavor and texture but is not often seen as practical to do at home. This recipe introduces a fuss-free way of enjoying this simple fish dish without a huge splatter of oil.


2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine

1 teaspoon sesame oil

½ teaspoon brown sugar

½ cup water

2 firm white fish fillets (such as sea bass, sole, or snapper), about ½-inch thick

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

1 tablespoon corn flour

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 green onion, chopped, for garnish

  • Mix dark soy sauce, ginger, Chinese cooking wine, sesame oil, brown sugar, and water in a bowl. Set aside as sauce.

  • Season both sides of the fish with salt and white pepper, and pat both sides with corn flour.

  • Add the oil to the rice cooker, cover, and set to Cook. When the base of the cooker pot gets warm, add the fish fillets and pan-fry each side for 2 to 3 minutes, with the rice cooker covered. When fish cooks through (turns opaque), dish out and set aside.

  • Add the prepared sauce mixture to the pot, cover the rice cooker, and allow to simmer. When simmering, return the fish to the pot, cover the rice cooker, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes for sauce to infuse with the fish.

  • Garnish with green onions. Best served with steamed rice.

Chinese Soy Sauces

One of the best-known Asian seasonings, soy sauce is brewed from soybeans, wheat, and salt. The most common types of Chinese soy sauces are light soy sauce and dark soy sauce. Light soy sauce appears thin (less viscous) and lighter in color compared to dark soy sauce. Dark soy sauce is richer in taste; it has more malt in the flavor but is less salty than light soy sauce. It usually is used if both color and flavor need to be added to a dish.

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