Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Cantonese Stuffed Peppers with Fish (釀青椒)

Cantonese Stuffed Peppers with Fish (釀青椒)

Today we wanted to show you how to make a
great Cantonese dish, pan-fried stuffed chilis. This dish comes from the town of Shunde south
of Guangzhou and is stuffed… with… fish. Now, there’s a specific breed of fish that’s
used again and again in Shunde cuisine – lingyu [鲮鱼], a freshwater mud carp that’s native
to the Pearl and Mekong rivers. It’s got a great taste to it but is unfortunately
super boney – so traditionally it’s been used in pretty inventive ways… making everything
from a fish soup that has the consistency of congee, to fish tofu with no tofu, to these
sorts of meat fillings. So if you go to a Cantonese market, they’ve
often got a specific stall devoted to just cleaning and filleting lingyu… and I’ve
always just found something awesomely hypnotic about watching the lingyu vendors do their
thing. Now we know that unless you happen to live
in South China or Vietnam, you’re probably not going to find mud carp. So we also tested this using both bass and
tilapia, and found that it definitely still works with one important adjustment. See, lingyu is a pretty umami fish, so replicate
that flavor we found that supplementing the paste with dried scallop does a great job. We used five grams of dried scallops, or you
could also use dried shrimp, and let those reconstitute in 50 grams of hot, boiled water
for 30 minutes. Once it’s about room temp toss in the fridge,
because we’ll be using the soaking liquid for the paste. But right. Making fish paste really is a great option
for any sort of smaller bonier river fish, so just in case let me just show you how you’d
work with lingyu real quick. To deskin those fillets, first cut into three
sections. Take the one of the two sides with the thicker
skin, make a cut near the back of the fillet, then firmly press down on the skin with your
knife. Then grab the fish meat and start to pull
it from the skin – once you get the hang of it, you can skin a fillet pretty easily. I know this here wasn’t exactly my cleanest
work, but whatever, it’ll end up a paste anyway. Then take the center portion and slice out
the skin just like you’d do in the Western style… and no matter what fish you’re
working with, just make sure you’ve got 250 grams of fillets in all. Now, this fish still has a bunch of little
bones in it, so first cut the fillets across into thin slices to break the bones into smaller
pieces. If you’re working with lingyu, you should
actually be able to hear the bones cracking. But assuming you’re working with some sort
of boneless, skinless bass or tilapia fillets, just join in here and give your fish a quick
mince. Then once it’s in smaller pieces, just grab
a knife, settle in, and start chopping… periodically folding the meat over itself
so that we can break this all down into a paste. We found that getting there takes about five
minutes if working with lingyu, ten minutes with bass, and tilapia somewhere in between. Depending on your fish it might end up a touch
more granular than this, don’t panic it’ll be ok in the end. Now toss that in a bowl, and we’ll prep
everything else for the paste. So take out those reconstituted scallops,
give them a mince, and set them aside. Then to the soaking liquid toss in 25 grams
of cornstarch and mix well… that’ll be an important bit for our emulsion. We’ll also be using about 15 grams of scallion,
finely sliced, and 50 grams of water chestnut, smashed then finely minced. Now back to our fish. So to your paste first toss in 4 grams or
about a teaspoon of salt… then go at it and mix it for about a minute. Then take your cornstarch mixture and add
it in bit by bit. What we’re doing here’s developing the
myosin in the mixture to help get this into a sticky meat emulsion. There’s a lot of variables at play when
it comes to myosin development – the freshness of your fish – the fresher the better, the
temperature of the mixture – the colder the better, the fat content of the fish – the
leaner the better, and of course the mixing time. For us, four minutes was enough, and yes… I do know that I do hold my chopsticks like
a moron when I’m stirring meat mixtures. But once you’re looking at a more uniform
paste, it’s time for my favorite technique in all of Chinese cooking: ‘dat’-ing the
mixture. So that’s basically just grabbing your mix
and repeatedly smashing it all down against your bowl about ten times which helps develop
springiness. Then season with a half teaspoon sugar and
a quarter teaspoon white pepper powder… add in the scallop, the water chestnut, and
the scallion… give it another thorough mix and your fish filling is good to go. So now for the chilis – we’re using four
Jianjiao [尖椒], a mild sort of chili that’s common in Guangdong. There’s nothing too special about them,
they’re about as hot as a jalapeno so that’s probably what I’d reach for in the States. For these I personally like to chop off the
very end because that bit loves to scorch, and of course, they’ve got to be deseeded. Then, to help the filling stick to the chili
and not fall out, rub each half with a good bit of cornstarch, smacking out any extra. Then just grab your chilis and stuff your
mixture in. We find doing it with chopsticks lets us stuff
it all a bit fuller, but totally use a rubber spatula if you prefer. If you find you have some extra filling, just
shape those into fish cakes and pan-fry after you do the chilis. So right. As always, first longyau – get your wok
piping hot, shut off the heat, add in your oil – here we’re panfrying so about a
half a cup, and give it a swirl to get a nice non-stick surface. Then up your flame and heat the oil until
bubbles start to form around a pair of chopsticks, or about 175 centigrade, then shut off the
heat again. Carefully lay your chilis face down into the
oil, pressing them gently against the wok. Then swap your flame to medium high, and press
down on them with a spatula. If you’re using a round bottomed wok like
us, every 20 seconds or so tilt the wok in a different direction to let the chilis cook
evenly… or if you’re working with something flat bottomed, just fill it all up with about
a half inch of oil. After about three minutes of frying, the filling
should be pretty golden brown so pour a tablespoon of mijiu rice wine around the wok and quickly
cover to steam… swapping for sake or water if you can’t find Chinese mijiu. After a quick fifteen second steam, uncover,
flip the chilis around and fry for another fifteen seconds, heat off, and… out. Make sure any excess oil’s drained out,
and toss on a plate. Now at a restaurant in Shunde they’ll usually
serve this along with a seasoned house soy sauce… sometimes its a dip and sometimes
its smothered. Now know there’s as many seasoned soy sauces
as there are Cantonese chefs, but one variety we like mixes in a half teaspoon of sugar
with about 20 mL of hot boiled water, a tablespoon and a half of light soy sauce, and a half
teaspoon of fish sauce… which’s a real thing here we swear. So then just pour that all over everything…
and your Cantonese pan-fried chilis are done. So the stuffed chili is one of the stuffed
stuff in a Cantonese stuffed dish that’s called panfried stuffed three treasures – “Jian
Niang Sanbao” [煎酿三宝] … which also contains stuffed bitter gourd and eggplant. So check out the Reddit link in the description
box for a detailed recipe, a big thank you for everyone that’s supporting us on Patreon…
and as always, subscribe for more Chinese cooking videos.

78 comments on “Cantonese Stuffed Peppers with Fish (釀青椒)

  1. Always Live the Tecniques used here. The one i needed here was probly the simplest one. Dust the insude if the pepper so the mix will stick … i will use that always now 👍👍. Thank for sharing this recipe i need to make this. I have everything here 😉 for a change. Lol.

  2. I use to have really easy access to this fish paste but they seemed to have slowly disappeared from just about all Chinese supermarkets here in Toronto with no explanation. My mother would mix in soft tofu and some extra garlic chive, then steam the whole mixture in a thin pan. But this dish, I use to always see at dim sum on the portable cart that had a portable flat top where they'd do this fresh to order along side turnip cakes and a few other items…all of which has also disappeared.

  3. what do you do with all of that excess oil? Do you toss it or attempt to clean it? Its always something that kept me from consistently cooking these types of recipes

  4. Hey guys, a few notes:

    1. One note we gotta get out first for those in the know… the character "饟" is "酿"is the thumbnail because then real character (the former one) is an older character and our font… doesn't support it. It's often written (incorrectly) as "酿"… and I mean, it's even written that way in some CCTV productions. But yeah, the former one is the correct one.

    2. One of the coolest uses for this fish has got to be Niang Lingyu, where you meticulously skin the entire fish without breaking it, then stuff it back with fish paste to get a… boneless whole fish. It’s probably a bit beyond our ken at this stage, but one of the cool things about doing this video when getting to know the Lingyu dude at our local market… he proudly knows how to make it, so, hmm…

    3. If you’re curious, here is a not-complete list of the myosin content of different fish: It’s from Georg Borgstrom’s 1965’s “Fish as Food: Vol III, Processing”… which was perhaps surprisingly interesting to flip through (what was available on Google Books). Unfortunately the book itself is trapped in that whole academic literature ecosystem, so there’s no way to (cheaply) buy it. SchiHub hasn’t be working for me, so… uh… if you happen to go to or work in a university… you know…

    4. Traditionally the mixture wouldn’t contain dried scallops. Feel free to skip, especially if you’re confident in the taste of your fish, or using Lingyu. We added the dried scallops to the Lingyu mixture mostly because we didn’t feel like filming two separate fish fillings.

    5. If you’re a by ratio sort of person, the fish paste is 10 parts fish, 2 parts water, 2 parts water chestnut, 1 part cornstarch, half part scallion (I upped the scallion a bit because I like it). For the seasoned soy sauce it’s 5 parts water to 5 parts soy sauce to one part sugar to one part fish sauce.

    6. Fish sauce isn’t the most common thing to see in Cantonese cooking. You see it a bit more in Teochew cuisine, Fujian cuisine, and also a bit up in Shandong. It’s around though.

    7. The leftover fish cakes can be ~2 tbsp each, pan-fried about 2 minutes each side until golden brown. Serve em with soy sauce.

    8. I know the 'healthy food' world in the West is going nuts over "bone broth"… by why bother with bone broth when you can just eat all the bones, like this? C'mon nutrition bloggers, get on this…

  5. This dish is definitely a family favorite when I visit GuangZhou every summer! Easy to make, and quite delicious.

  6. Solution to bones on fresh water fish: mince them! (So chinesy! The bones still there though. Carp is ultimate boniest fish! I hate by just imagining chewing them)

  7. Broken record here… been making these since I was a kid stuffed with all sorts of, sorry, stuff. Sausage, shrimp, lamb, beans… Mediterranean, Portuguese, Mexican… the more I watch clips like this the more I feel at home everywhere.

  8. Dried scallops are the most expensive ingredient I've have ever used. If you're in Saskatoon you can get dried at 8 Street China Supermarket. I've got 70g left over I'll have to give Stuffed Peppers with Fish a try.

  9. When I tried to make this but with ground beef a while ago, I always ended up with fried chili with beef burger stick lol

  10. Those look delicious. I'm so jealous of the varieties of cooking you experience. I just recently moved near Ottawa's "Chinatown", but haven't had much opportunity to check out the restaurants. I really must give them a try. Although this dish looks like one I could try. We currently have some sweet shepherd peppers in the market that would probably work. My kids won't eat anything hot, even a jalapeno. Thanks for the great work yet again.

  11. NIce Cantonese fish and peppers recipe my friend Looks perfect and tasty Thanks a lot for this nice video and Greetings from PARIS 🍚🍄💖💖🍚🍄💖😍🍄💖🍚

  12. I have to give you guys kudos for inventiveness and creativity, dried scallops to emulate the original flavor of mud carp.👍

  13. I wonder how this would taste made with those invasive Asian carp that are in the South and Midwest (these would be 鳙鱼, 鲢鱼, 青鱼, and 草鱼). Some places you can just roll up on them in a canoe and they'll jump in on their own.

  14. Your voice makes me feel like Richard Dreyfus is teaching me Chinese cooking. Watch the movie “Stand by me” if you don’t get the joke. Love the videos, and my Chinese cooking is much improved.

  15. your accent says gefilte fish but your video says chinese fish-sfuffed chilies. Best of both worlds isn’t it?

  16. I would get this sort of amazing mudfish paste wrapped around medium-large prawns just a block from my apartment in Pathum Thani for approx $3; just a whole delicious plate of these carefully prepared and fried delights for pennies of their effort. Same place made a truly fragrant and exceptional fried rice too. I loved giving them my money

  17. 感觉新手第一次尝试会把鱼肉煎散,直接辣椒去籽,把鱼肉塞进去操作难度会低一点。

  18. I love all the recipes y'all have posted. If you happen to know a reasonable way to recreate 胡辣汤 short of needing a specific 胡辣汤 powder, that would be super awesome to find. I've been wanting to surprise my wife with it even if we don't have immediate access to a solid chinese supermarket, but I've not been able to recreate that component.

  19. I'm interested i the stuffed aubergine, too! Is this sort of fish paste the starting point for fish balls etc?

  20. About Niang Lingyu: that sounds a lot like the Filipino relyeno dish. We almost always use bangus (milkfish) for it. You basically open the entire fish up, remove the meat, debone it,. mince it and stuff it back in, then fry it to get a stuffed fish. It's pretty labor intensive but it's good.

    So yeah! I'm always interested in parallels between Chinese and Filipino cuisine, and it sounds to me like this is another one. Pretty cool, guys.

  21. looks awesome. I don't have that fish on the ready, but I do hope swai would work. (taking away from authenticity however)

  22. Firstly: great channel my Girlfriend loves that i started cooking so much chinese food, so thank you. Have you ever thought about making a video on tea in China or can you recommend any ressources?

  23. We usually stuff with minced pork instead of fish, in my and my wife's households. Or occasionally with fish AND pork together. Oh, and we usually also stuff tofu as well.

    By the way, I've only just come across this channel, and whilst I do enjoy it I'm pretty much a banana, very much a typical British Born Chinese, BBC. Which means that if you could just try a few Cantonese pronounciations I really would appreciate it, my Mandarin is pretty poor.


  24. I've been looking for dried scallops for quite a while since I'ld like to make a homemade XO sauce. While being difficult but not impossible to source, they are priced so horrendously that my XO sauce project has stalled.
    The stuffed peppers look like a great summer dish to me and I'll give it a try with a mixture of cod and finely minced bacon strips in stead of the scallops. Combining cod, pollock etc. with bacon is quite common where I Iive.,
    btw: does anybody know how to dry scallops safely? While fresh or frozen scallops still are pricey, they are available and once in a while at a good price.

  25. as long as i knew, this type of stuffed veges dishes belongs to the Hakka clan. Only dim sum belongs to the cantonese….

  26. 1:54 QUICK! Cut to the next clip before they see how badly I skinned it!! 😂Honestly I cant do better. It’s more I know the feeling than making fun of you.

    In all seriousness though… did you experiment with other types of carp? I live in Houston with a large Viet and Chinese population. I know we can get some varieties of carp at the Asian grocers. They tend to be substantially bigger than the one you have… maybe black carp but don’t quote me on that. Wondering if that would work and be able to skip the expense of dried scallops.

  27. My family has a lot of people who cant handle spicy, so we use bell peppers as well! It's a good substitute if you're cooking for people who cant handle spicy!

  28. Chinese in Latin America use macarela. Perfect for fish balls and stuffed vegetables (peppers bittermelon, tofu, etc). Works beautifully. No need corn starch or anything else. Just chop chop chop and mix mix mix.

  29. I can’t help thinking our terrific this would be if you swapped out the fish for eggplant and breadcrumb stuffing. Yum!

  30. I'm 16 and can't buy regular alcohol in Ireland where I live, would I still be able to buy rice wine and the other cooking wine I don't know how to spell

  31. Can you please do a video on how to make the street food called dan bao? i havent seen a recipe online anywhere for it. i have seen a few different dishes called this, but the one i am talking about is a little round fried dough with a whole egg, a little bit of ground pork, and green onion inside. a chili paste is sometimes smeared on the outside. it was popular in harbin and chongqing, but i dont see it in zhuhai where i live. its like a chinese egg mcmuffin. i have the special pan to make it but cant get the batter and technique right. Help!

  32. Being Louisianan this would work great with red cayenne peppers 🌶 substituting mirliton in place of water chestnuts building the recipe with Cajun/Creole flare. Question: Can you use food processor to mince fish? Thanks for sharing. I love using your presentation and create dishes using foods from my culture as well as fusion ingredients from your culture with mine!

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