The Legendary Sweet & Sour Fish of the West Lake of China

By CiCi Li, NTD Television
April 12, 2016 Updated: April 12, 2016

According to the legend, there were two brothers in the Song Dynasty, and they were fishermen in the West Lake of China. The older brother had a beautiful wife, and a bad man spotted her beauty and killed the older brother. The younger brother and his sister in law suffered the sweet and sour of life, and created a sweet and sour fish. 

Serving: 2 people

Cooking time: 15 minutes 

1 whole fish
3 stalks of scallions
3 slices of ginger
1 handful of cilantro

2 cups of fish stock
2 ounces of julienned ginger
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of shaoxing wine
2 tablespoons of sugar 
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of cornstarch mix with 2 tablespoons of water
2 tablespoons of vinegar

Boil water in a pot. Throw in 3 stalks of scallions and 3 slices of ginger. Put the whole fish in the pot, put on the lid, and allow the water to boil for about 4 minutes, then turn off the heat, and let it poach for about 6 minutes. (This technique is going to make the fish more delicate and tenderer than boiling and steaming it alone.)

In a small pan, take 2 cups of boiled fish stock, and then add 2 ounces of julienned ginger, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of shaoxing wine, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 pinch of salt, and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch mix with 2 tablespoons of water, and lastly add 2 tablespoons of black vinegar (we add the vinegar last because it can evaporate easily.)

CiCi Li is the host of “CiCi’s Food Paradise” on NTD Television. Join her and discover quick and healthy recipes at