Sichuan Spicy Dry-fried Fish Fillets (Gong-bao Yu)

Gong-bao Yu – The Sichuan province is basically landlocked. It’s also teaming with freshwater lakes and rivers. Fish from the region is typically served whole with a myriad of toppings. Fish filets are made from delicate white fish that’s cooked in a similar technique to chicken dishes. In this case, fried fish fillets are first marinated, coated in cornstarch and deep fried to become crispy. They are then stir-fried in a light sauce with dried chili peppers. The whole process is similar to how twice-cooked pork is cooked, except instead of boiling pork belly first, the fish filets are deep fried first and then both stir-fried in a fragrant sauce. It is also similar to the famous Sichuan chicken dish, Gong-bao Ji Ding.

Sichuan Spicy Dry-fried Fish Fillets

This wonderfully light and spicy dish is a great way to make fish. Shallow-fry the coated fish until crisp and then finish it by charring some red chili peppers and then stir-frying the filets in a light sauce.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese, Sichuan, Western China
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Wok
  • medium and small bowls


  • lb Fish filets, mild
  • 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • ½ tsp Sugar
  • ½ inch Ginger, peeled and shredded
  • ½ cup Cornstarch
  • ¼ cup Peanut oil

Stir Fry

  • 6 whole Dried chili peppers, cut diagonally in 3 pieces each. (to reduce heat, discard seeds and ribs)
  • 2 tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Fermented black beans


  • 1 tsp Cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Chinkiang vinegar
  • 2 tsp Rice wine
  • ½ tsp Sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Black pepper
  • 4 tbsp Peanut oil



  • Cut fish filets to make ½-inch thick by 1½-2-inch wide slices. Combine seasonings in a small bowl or cup. In a slightly larger bowl, combine soy sauce, salt, sugar, shredded ginger, black pepper, vinegar, and rice wine. Gently stir in fish slices and let marinate for 10 minutes.
    Place cornstarch in a plastic freezer bag. Remove fish slices from marinade, seal, and shake to be sure all the fish slices are covered. Leave in bag for another 5-10 minutes.

Shallow Fry Fish

  • Heat ¼ cup oil in a wok over medium-high heat. When smoking, add half the fish and fry until crispy and golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels and repeat with remaining fish. Pour out oil.


  • Add 4 tbsp oil in the wok over medium-high heat. and once smoking hot, add the red chili peppers and cook until they begin to char and are almost black. Quickly stir in the scallion, ginger, garlic, and black beans.
    Return the fish to the wok and add the seasoning, after stirring to combine, around the sides of the wok. Quickly mix everything together, remove to a serving dish, and serve hot.


Calories: 494kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 894mg | Potassium: 554mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg

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