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27 Chinese Fish Recipes You Should Try

Quick Answer

  1. Restaurant-Style Chinese Steamed Fish
  2. Sichuan Boiled Fish
  3. Chinese Pan Fried Fish
  4. Steamed Fish Head With Diced Red Peppers
  5. Stir Fried Gai Lan With Fish Cake & Lap Cheong
  6. Boiled Fish With Pickled Cabbage & Chili
  7. Yu Dan (Fish Balls)
  8. Stir Fried Fish Fillet With Ginger
  9. Fish Fillets With Hot Chili Oil
  10. Chinese Steamed Fish

Chinese food is quite possibly one of the most expansive cuisines out there, especially when it comes to Chinese fish recipes.

With such a large portion of the world being a part of or influenced by Chinese culture and influence throughout the ages, and that culture stretching back for hundreds, if not thousands of years, perhaps this isn’t too surprising!

However, there is a downside to this expansive list of fish recipes that you can find out there, and that is when the time comes to make these dishes for yourself!

27 Chinese Fish Recipes You Should Try

Is it that bad of a downside? Probably not.

Still, if you want to get that next Chinese fish meal ready, you’re going to need to narrow down your options first!

This is where this list comes into play!

We’ve collected a list of some of the best Chinese fish and other seafood recipes that you can try for yourself today, and for all levels of cooking experience too!

Top 10 Dishes

  1. Restaurant-Style Chinese Steamed Fish
  2. Sichuan Boiled Fish
  3. Chinese Pan Fried Fish
  4. Steamed Fish Head With Diced Red Peppers
  5. Stir Fried Gai Lan With Fish Cake & Lap Cheong
  6. Boiled Fish With Pickled Cabbage & Chili
  7. Yu Dan (Fish Balls)
  8. Stir Fried Fish Fillet With Ginger
  9. Fish Fillets With Hot Chili Oil
  10. Chinese Steamed Fish

Top 10 Nutritional Table

DishCalories & ServingsPreparation Time
Restaurant-Style Chinese Steamed Fish344 kcal per serving (Serves 4)15 minutes
Sichuan Boiled Fish780 kcal (Serves 3)40 Minutes
Chinese Pan Fried Fish311 kcal (Serves 3 to 4)15 Minutes
Steamed Fish Head With Diced Red Peppers1027 kcal (Serves 2)30 Minutes
Stir Fried Gail Lan With Fish Cake & Lap CheongVaries with Portion Size (Serves 3 to 4)40 Minutes
Boiled Fish With Pickled Cabbage & Chili279 kcal (Serves 4)25 Minutes
Yu Dan (Fish Balls)216 kcal (Serves 12)55 Minutes
Stir-Fried Fish Fillet With Ginger 178 kcal(Serves 4)20 Minutes
Fish Fillets In Hot Chili Oil280 kcal (Serves 8)20 Minutes
Chinese Steamed Fish 290 kcal (Serves 2)15 Minutes

1. Restaurant-Style Chinese Steamed Fish

Starting off this list of recipes strong, we have a restaurant-worthy steamed fish recipe that will blow your socks off.

Steaming fish is a very popular method of cooking and preparation in Chinese cuisine, so get ready to see a few of these styles of recipes on this list.

The best results for this recipe are, unsurprisingly, going to be the freshest of fish that have been taken straight from the tank, and are now ready to be cooked.

While this recipe can be done with several different kinds of fish, this recipe recommends using a marble goby or soon hock, a freshwater fish found across South East Asia.

However, if this option isn’t available to you, feel free to use whatever freshwater fish options are available to you!

2. Sichuan Boiled Fish

Alongside steaming, boiling is also a popular traditional method of preparation when it comes to fish in Chinese food.

This recipe is a classic example of this cooking style, and makes a delicate dish that we just can’t get enough of!

This fish is also prepared and presented in a classic Sichuan sauce (also known as Szechuan sauce), giving it a somewhat sweet element to it as well.

Plus, with the number of chilies that this recipe is also prepared with, there’ll be plenty of heat to keep you interested in this meal. If you have a sensitive palate, we would probably recommend that you look for another Sichuan recipe on this list.

For those of you with fire in your bellies and a point to prove, this is the recipe to try for yourself!

3. Chinese Pan Fried Fish

When it comes to preparing fish, pan frying is probably one of the most popular methods that are used across the globe, and the same is true in many Chinese dishes as well.

This is a simple recipe that pretty much anyone who knows how to use a frying pan can try for themselves.

While the recipe list is by no means small, the step that you need to take to cook the fish, as well as prepare and thicken the sauce that goes with it, is very easy to follow, and are done very quickly, especially when compared to some of the other dishes here.

This is a simple meal well-made. And sometimes, that’s all you need for a great recipe!

4. Steamed Fish Head With Diced Red Peppers

If you’re thinking of cozy meals to make on a cold fall or winter’s day, Chinese fish recipes might not be the first thought that comes to you.

However, this recipe shows that sometimes a little heat and spiciness in your cooking is just what the doctor ordered for the old snap!

Packed with plenty of ingredients that all bring their little heat to the dish, from the fresh ginger to the red chilies that this recipe calls for, this is a meal that will heat your taste buds!

5. Stir Fired Gai Lan With Fish Cake & Lap Cheong

Of course, fish recipes in Chinese cuisine are not simply reserved or their own dishes and are occasionally mixed with ginger or chilies for flavor.

Fish is a type of meat that balances well with many other foods, especially when paired with the right vegetables.

Take broccoli, for example.

Broccoli can sometimes feel like an oft-forgotten member of the dinner vegetable palate.

However, when prepared right with this incredible fish dish, you have a vegetable that absorbs plenty of moisture and flavor, making it as soft as the fish it is paired with, without becoming overcooked with moisture.

6. Boiled Fish With Pickled Cabbage & Chili

Time for a Sichuan recipe that won’t burn your tongue off!

If it isn’t already becoming very clear at this point, Szechuan sauce is one of the most popular broths and sauces to make in China, both at home and in restaurants!

Despite what some people may feel when first looking at recipes like this, this recipe is very easy for even cooking novices to make for themselves.

If you’re struggling to decide on a type of fish to use in this dish for yourself, we would recommend using either a grass head snake, or carp if that option isn’t available.

An oilier fish will help add to the flavors of the broth beautifully!

7. Yu Dan (Fish Balls)

Many of the recipes we have covered so far all take on classic Chinese dishes that could all be showstoppers in their rights.

However, if you’re looking for a Chinese fish dish that is a little simpler and more ‘back-to-basics’ in its preparation, then we would recommend trying out this Chinese fish ball recipe for yourself!

This is more of a side dish than a full course in itself, but one that is just at home on a restaurant menu as it is in your kitchen!

Plus, if you’re feeling a little lazy in the kitchen, you can even use store-bought fish balls for this dish too!

Make sure to mix your ingredients well before you start frying them!

8. Stir-Fried Fish Fillet With Ginger

Many of the fish we have covered lean a little towards the milder side of smells and flavors.

They’re all great, but they may not be suited for catches that have a much stronger odor to them.

If this sounds like you’re predicament, and you need to figure out a dish that can use that extra smelly fish well, then we would recommend that you try out this ginger-infused dish.

Alongside being a great-tasting root herb, ginger dishes in Chinese cuisine are perhaps some of the most iconic foods on the menu.

Especially in an authentic restaurant!

However, one of the lesser known perks of ginger in Chinese cuisine is also how they handle and tackle fish that have a reputation for overpowering every other smell they are prepared and cooked with.

Ginger is a very effective odor killer, it turns out!

9. Fish Fillets In Hot Chili Oil

It’s no secret that oil is a favorite ingredient to cook many foods in, no matter what the cuisine is.

However when it comes to Chinese food, if you’re looking to add a little extra spice to a meal, then chili oil is often the way to go about it!

This is the perfect way to get both the perfect crisp or batter to a good fish fillet, and get that fish up to a heat that will test your body, as this recipe does!

The fish in this recipe will be cooked quickly, so make sure you’re quick when getting them out of that oil.

Remember, they’ll still be cooking for a little while after you take them out!

10. Chinese Steamed Fish

There’s just something about a freshly steamed fish that hits different, you know?

Maybe it’s the fact that fresh fish often have the lightest flavors and delicate texture. Maybe it’s the speed at which you can cook this dish. 

Maybe it’s the slightly spicy sauce of this dish?

Water is the reason, if you want to try cooking up a mean steamed fish for yourself that is light and fluffy, this has to be one of our favorites!

11. Sweet & Sour Fish Recipe

Where there is a ginger recipe, there is often a sweet and sour dish that goes with it!

While sweet and sour is a preparation style in Chinese cuisine that is used with all kinds of meats, from poultry to pork, we very rarely hear about fish sweet and sour recipes.

And that’s a damn shame because these are some of the best variations that we’ve seen in this classic Chinese fish dish!

Fish meat is often considered quite dry, meaning that it can absorb the flavors of a good-sweet and sour dish a lot better than many of its land-meat counterparts!

12. Steamed Perch

Going from a recipe that is packed full of flavor as both a countermeasure and perk, we return to a freshwater fish recipe that is a little milder, and less likely to stink out your kitchen.

Perch is one of the most popularly eaten fish in all of China, so the fact that we have taken this long to tackle this fish dish in this list is frankly a little embarrassing!

Still, we’re here now, and we have this beautifully prepared steamed fish that is sure to go down beautifully, especially when properly seasoned.

For a truly authentic experience, we recommend eating this fish with chopsticks.

Not only will it make it a more authentic experience, but picking apart this fish will help you avoid those pesky fish bones that often put people away from trying these recipes out!

13. Chinese Braised Fish

How has it taken us this long to mention a braising recipe on this list!?

This recipe is straight from the Guangdong province in South East China, and makes use of a fresh saltwater fish that uses its saltiness as an opportunity to season itself! (if that makes sense…)

Flaky and beautifully juicy, the sauce helps make sure that not only does the fish meal smell great, but also tastes incredible too!

14. Soybean Paste Fish

While there is certainly more press going towards soybean pastes and curds in recipes these days, soybean paste is a cooking medium that we feel many people outside of China are missing out on!

Plus, with this recipe taking less than 30 minutes to prepare for yourself, this is an incredible new avenue for Chinese cooking that you can open up for yourself with this dish!

15. Steamed Turbot

Like the braised fish recipe we recently showed you, turbot is a very traditional dish that is most popular around the coastal province of Guangdong in China.

For our recommendation on how best to enjoy this steamed dish, we would suggest cooking the turbot with a healthy amount of ginger, as well as having some delicious soy sauce for seasoning your succulent seafood!

16. Fish Congee

Congee is a traditional Chinese dish that doesn’t seem to get as much press as many of the other dishes in this expansive cuisine.

When you have hundreds of thousands of different recipes from hundreds of local cuisines, we suppose that some must slip through the cracks.

Well, hopefully, this recipe will make a fan out of you!

With only three main ingredients being needed for this dish, this rice-based fish meal can be made with next to nothing, so you have no excuse to not try it out for yourself!

While this recipe may take a little longer than the rest on this list to be finished, we say that the result speaks volumes about how tasty it is!

If you want to try a Chinese fish dish that is a little different, this recipe should be high on your list!

17. Ginger Garlic Baked Salmon

What lover of fish dishes doesn’t also love a good salmon recipe, baked to perfection?

Well, a well-baked salmon that has been prepared with a classic Chinese flavor combination might not necessarily be better, but it certainly comes close!

Ginger and garlic are probably one of the most popular combinations of ingredients to pair with a Chinese main dish, and it isn’t hard to see why.

Combining both of their heats with the sweet and savory of ginger and garlic respectively creates a fusion that enhances pretty much any Chinese dish. Especially when marinated with soy sauce and served on a bed of perfectly prepared rice.

The result? A salmon dish that can contend with the best out there!

18. West Lake Poached Fish

Carp has to be one of the most popular fishes to use in Chinese cuisine.

If it’s not, it’s certainly close, judging by the number of dishes on this list alone that have recommended using this fish!

This poached fish recipe was named one of the top 10 classic dishes of the Zhejiang province in China. And judging by this particular recipe, it isn’t hard to see why!

When you have a fish recipe that has been perfectly poached, boiled, and marinated like this, giving you the perfect balance of tenderness, savory, and sweetness, how could you not vote this dish as one of the best from your home area?

19. Sichuan Shrimp

So, time for the first shrimp recipe on this list!

Considering that shrimp is a popular dish in a wide range of fishing locations in and around China, it is almost a tragedy that it has taken us this long to start talking about them here!

The shrimps here, prepared beautifully with the freshest of vegetables, create a combination of flavors and textures that Chinese cuisine is known and adored for. The perfect blend of sweet, spice, savory, and saltiness can all be found in this dish.

Plus, if shrimps aren’t quite to your taste, this recipe can just as easily be used with beef, pork, chicken, or even, yes, fish!

20. Oven Baked Salmon With Honey Ginger Glaze

Time for another salmon recipe on this list!

With so many different sauces and potential flavor combinations in Chinese cuisine, it would almost be a crime not to cover a few more in this list!

This salmon recipe is yet another baked fish dish. However, the glaze that is drenched in ginger and honey sweetness means that this main course dish is a surprisingly sweet one as well!

The glaze seeps into the salmon meat, giving you a crispy outside that is just ready to reveal the delicious pink treasure hidden underneath its baked surface!

21. Sweet & Sour Mandarin Fish

Time for another classic regional dish from a traditionally rich region of China.

Mandarin fish is a classic recipe that hails from the Suzhou region of China and is a very popular dish in the province.

It was even voted as one of the top 10 classic famous dishes of the area!

This recipe is for experienced chefs that have already earned their stripes and want a real test of skill that can challenge them.

Mandarin is considered a very pungent type of fish, meaning that you’re going to need all of your skills and experience to be able to turn what could otherwise be considered a foul-smelling fish into a mouth-watering dish!

Fortunately, the sweet and sour marinade and sauce, when prepared right, is more than up to the task!

22. Sweet & Sour Tilapia

You didn’t think we were done with the sweet and sour recipes on this list, did you?

Thanks to the use of ginger in these types of sauces, sweet and sour recipes are often perfect for preparing and cooking fish that are known for their more pungent aromas.

Can’t be smelly if all you’re smelling is sweet and sour goodness!

If you have the option, we would wholeheartedly recommend making this recipe with some kind of tilapia fish. The fish meat will absorb plenty of flavor from your sauce! 

23. Asian Salmon In Foil

Every aspiring cook knows that one of the best methods of preparing and cooking salmon is to wrap it in a foil coating, to make sure that the meat of the fish stays as flavorful and succulent.

So, what do you think would happen if you combined this cooking method with a sauce that is fitting for such an amazing cut of fish?

Well, you’d probably get something like this recipe here!

Just as the foil helps stop the salmon from losing any moisture, the foil in this recipe will help make sure that you keep that sauce locked in with the fish, creating a super juicy slice of premium salmon that will be gone from the dinner plate in the blink of an eye!

24. Grandma’s Shanghai Smoked Fish

Now, if you’re looking for home cooking made with the love and attention that only and grandparent figure can give, then this is the recipe for you!

While fish being smoked has long been a way of preserving food for longer periods, this Chinese recipe recognizes that smoked fish has its one distinct taste and flavor that can be enjoyed!

Crispy on the outside and hiding beautifully soft fish meat on the inside, this is a recipe that is sure to please any fish lover that tries it!

And if you want to try this marinade and sauce combination for yourself, but aren’t the biggest fan of fish meat (firstly, congratulations on sticking with this recipe guide for this long), don’t worry.

This recipe works great with chicken breast fillets too!

25. Fried Carp With Sweet & Sour Sauce

Okay, one more carp recipe for the road!

This particular sweet and sour sauce recipe combines this classic Chinese cuisine sauce with the most popular of fishes in China, the carp!

The preparation for this particular carp meal, as the name suggests, fries the carp fish with the sweet and sour marinade, until it has turned a beautiful golden color that tastes even better than it looks!

Tangy and sour in all the right ways, as well as sweet and salty in the way that this sauce and fish can be.

This is one carp recipe that you don’t want to miss!

26. Salt & Pepper Shrimp

Thought you’d get through this list with just two shrimp recipes for you.

Well, think again!

Especially when there are shrimp recipes as good as this salt and pepper shrimp dish that need to be seen and appreciated!

Plus, this recipe takes less than 20 minutes to cook and prepare altogether, this is a meal that can be whipped up and cooked just as quickly as it will be eaten.

Well, almost. With how great this recipe tastes, no one’s that good!

27. Chinese Fish Soup

How are we only covering a fish soup recipe here, at the last hurdle!?

Well, it’s probably because a good fish soup takes a lot of time and patience to perfect, something that only experienced cooks can handle consistently.

However, if you have those two tools, you’ll be able to make a fish soup that can blow any classic chowder out of the water!

Try this amazing soup for yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Most Popular Fish Used In Chinese Cuisine?

For a region as large and expansive as China, the answer to these questions will vary depending on the specific region and province.

Carp is considered one of the most popular fishes to use in cooking in the northern provinces of China, as it stews very well when mixed with other ingredients.

In the south, perch is considered a very popular fish to use in cooking, as it tastes very fresh when steamed correctly.

This also isn’t taking into account how popular other types of seafood are, such as shrimp, which are a staple food across the country.

Are Chinese Fish Meals Healthy?

Generally speaking, Chinese fish meals are considered a very healthy meal, especially when compared to other meats such as beef or pork.

Like chicken, fish is considered a type of lean meat, meaning that there is usually very little fat, and plenty of protein found inside them.

Combine that with the large array of vegetables that many Chinese fish dishes are prepared with, and you have a recipe for tasty and nutritious success.

Final Thoughts

So, as you can see, there are plenty of authentic ways to prepare a Chinese fish meal for yourself!

27 Chinese Fish Recipes You Should Try

Fish isn’t liked in Chinese food. It is adored and loved! With so many different combinations of Chinese fish and flavors to try, there’s no time to waste!


  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

Recipe Video

Jess Smith


Friday 6th of October 2023

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