Snappy Chinese-style Snapper

After work the other day, I decided to take a walk around Cold Storage. You know, just to see what was available and not to buy anything, really. 😏  Right.

So I have dinner waiting for me at home, am ravenous and you know what they say about supermarket shopping on an empty stomach. I rationalised that I was not exactly out to buy anything. Anyhow, Cold Storage 1 : Mag 0

I saw this beautiful snapper that was reduced to clear. It was $3.30!! The price of a cup of bubbletea. I rationalised that this $3.30 was not so much food (which I didn’t need cos I had dinner at home) but tuition fees for learning how to cook a fish. On the spot, I started checking Yummly for recipes but couldn’t find any that didn’t require a whole lot of (ang moh) ingredients. Most of the recipes also used Snapper fillets but the one I was intending to buy was an entire fish, with skin and bones.
I turned to Google and found one recipe where I only lacked two ingredients – lemon and butter. But I was still not willing to settle aka fork out $5-7 for the extra ingredients. In the end, I found a recipe where I only lacked one ingredient!! Scallions. I didn’t have scallions. So I substituted them with onions on my mum’s advice. So here you have it – my first time cooking an entire fish.


  • 250 gram firm white fish fillet, such as red snapper, grouper, rock fish, etc.
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground pepper
  • corn starch, to dust the fish
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, cut into small pieces (or roughly minced)
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, sliced diagonally
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon sugar


1. Prep the fish by wrapping it in paper towels and refrigerating it. What I was trying to do was to remove as much moisture as possible.

2. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and put it aside.

3. Chop onions, garlic and ginger. Heat oil in a frying pan on high heat and stir fry until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. (Sorry for the lousy photo) The oil is now infused with these lovely things. Things. :p

4. Pull fish out of the fridge. Dab to remove as much moisture as possible. Put a pinch of salt and pepper on fish. Dust it with cornstarch to prevent it from sticking to pan.

5. In the same pan, fry the fish for 5 minutes each side. Only flip the fish once at the end of 5 minutes, otherwise, the fish will stick to the pan. Set the fish on a serving plate. You have no idea how much discipline it takes for a kanchiong chef not to flip or move the fish, especially when you smell burning. But 5 minutes is 5 minutes and I timed it to a T.

6. Turn the heat to medium and pour the sauce to the pan. Wait until it bubbles a bit(sharks, I didn’t!!), then return the garlic, ginger, and scallion/onions into the sauce. Cook for a minutes. Pour the sauce onto the fish.

7. Serve immediately with steamed white rice.

Happiness is seeing others enjoy your food. So while I just about finished almost the entire fish save for the portion with a lot of bones cos I’m lazy that way and about to wash my plates, my sister says to leave the fish cos she will finish it up, once she is done with her facial mask. 😍  Praise is underrated. Makes me think to voice my appreciation for yummy food whenever I get the chance to.

After Action Review (AAR) :

  • I tried to fillet the fish because that’s what was in the recipe – fillets instead of the entire fish. To my dismay, it was super difficult to cut through the fish! Just as well, because I believe the skin held in the moisture and kept it from drying out.
  • The comments from my mum and sister were generally good. Except that my mum said that the fish could have more flavour and the sauce could have been thicker. Next time, I will make incisions on the fish, to let that lovely zhap run through. And perhaps add some corn starch for a thicker sauce.
  • The skin on the fish was pretty charred. It was okay with the sauce covering it and some people may even like this crisp, “just grilled” type of feel but I wonder what I can do to circumvent this. Comments and suggestions welcome!
  • Just realised that the fish I bought was 418g, almost twice the size listed on the ingredients. Should and could have doubled up on some ingredients. :p

Thank you Daily Cooking Quest for the recipe. :]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s