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Pan Fried Crucian Fish with Scallions {Cong Kao Ji Yu}

by Shirley
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Pan Fried Whole Fish {Crucian with Scallion}

Pan Fried Crucian Carp Whole Fish with Scallion {Cong Kao Ji Yu 葱烤鲫鱼} is such a traditional Huai Yang style food. It features a tender, naturally delicious crucian carp pan fried with scallion, ginger, and a splash of soy sauce, cooking wine, and sugar. Learn all the tips and tricks to cook a perfect pan fried crucian whole fish easy, healthy, and authentic way!

Pan Fried Whole Fish {Crucian with Scallion}
Pan Fried Whole Fish {Crucian with Scallion}

Crucian carp is a popular fish in China’s Yangtze River Delta, home to the Huai Yang cuisine. Growing up in Suzhou, crucian carp is one of my favorites, and I surely had my fair share of it, LOL. You can only imagine how overjoyed I was when I discovered that my local Asian grocery store carries fresh, wildly caught crucian.

They are relatively small fish, each about half a pound on average, with white, moist, and super tasty meat. With such naturally yummy meat, you really can’t go wrong with crucian. Popular ways of cooking crucian include braising, pan-frying with scallion, and crucian soup.

Read here on how to braise crucian whole fish. This post uses butterfish as an example, but the method applies to crucian too.

Pan Fried Crucian with Scallions Ingredients:

Pan Fried Crucian Ingredients
Pan Fried Crucian Ingredients

Other than fresh, wild-caught crucian carps, you will need freshly ground white pepper, avocado oil, arrowroot flour, ginger, green onions, sugar in the raw, sake, naturally brewed soy sauce, and light soy sauce.

Arrowroot flour is my go-to superfood gluten-free starch. Sake is my preferred cooking wine for seafood. It has a refreshing subtle deliciousness, which complements seafood well.

Mao Dou Mi {毛豆米} is optional, but it goes so well crucian well and is a classic way. Mao Dou, also known as edamame, is the young soybeans in pods. It is a popular vegetable in China, especially in the Yangtze River Delta area. Check out here for a quick, easy, restaurant-style Edamame dish.

For shelled ones, we call them Mao Dou Mi {毛豆米} or Mao Dou Ren {毛豆仁}. Huai Yang style cooking frequently adds Mao Dou Mi into a stir-fry, and pan fried or braised fish. Read here to see how edamame completes the Sweet and Sour Yellow Croaker.

How do you cook Pan Fried Crucian with Scallions from scratch?

See the Recipe for a detailed step-by-step guided tutorial. Here are the key highlights:

Prep Work is the key for a perfectly tasty Pan Fried Crucian

If you get whole fish from a grocery store, they are typically gutted, de-scaled, and cleaned. You just need to remove gills (most grocery stores do this for you too), trim all fins using a pair of quality kitchen scissor, and give it a good inside-out rinse.

Prep Crucian for Pan Frying
Prep Crucian for Pan Frying

Pat-dry the fish using a paper towel, sprinkle with freshly ground white pepper and set aside.

Blanch Mao Dou Mi and set aside.

Blanched Mao Dou Mi {Edamame}
Blanched Mao Dou Mi {Edamame}

Wash and rinse green onions and ginger. Slice green onions into small, thin pieces and mince ginger.

Prep Green Onions and Ginger for Pan Fried Whole Fish
Prep Green Onions and Ginger for Pan Fried Whole Fish

Stuff each crucian with sliced green onions and minced ginger. Finally, sprinkle and pat a thin layer of arrowroot flour coating on both sides of the fish.

Prep Crucian for Pan Frying
Prep Crucian for Pan Frying

Sear the Crucian:

Turn the heat to medium and heat a hard-anodized non-stick fry-pan for 2 minutes. Add avocado oil, the remaining ginger, and most of the green onions into the pan. Save some green onions for the garnishing.

Stir a little and then lay crucian flat on the pan, one at a time. When you have all the crucians in the pan, cook for 3 minutes.

Sear Whole Crucian
Sear Whole Crucian

Following the 3 minutes searing on one side of the crucian, turn the heat to low, gently flip the fish and cook the other side for 2 minutes.

Sear the other side of Crucian Whole Fish
Sear the other side of Crucian Whole Fish

Add Cooking Condiments and Pan Fry on low heat with the lid on

Pour sake, naturally brewed soy sauce and light soy sauce evenly across the four fish. Sprinkle the sugar evenly among four fish. Also add the blanched Mao Dou Mi between fish. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes.

Pan Fry Whole Crucian with Scallion
Pan Fry Whole Crucian with Scallion

Remove the lid, flip the fish and pan fry for 3 minutes

Toward the 10 minutes low heat pan-frying, remove the lid, flip the fish carefully, sprinkle the remaining green onions and cook for 3 minutes.

All done! Enjoy a super naturally delicious fish!

Pan Fried Whole Fish {Huai Yang Style Crucian with Scallion}
Pan Fried Whole Fish {Huai Yang Style Crucian with Scallion}

Cooking Tips: Use a quality hard-anodized fry-pan

Quality hard-anodized fry-pan can withstand high-temperature heat. It also helps use way less oil, makes it easy to flip the fish and helps keep the fish’s skin on during the cooking process.

Do you like fish, whole fish? Make sure you check out my other fish recipes:

Pan Fried Whole Fish {Crucian with Scallion}

Pan Fried Crucian with Scallions {葱烤鲫鱼 Shanghai Style}

Yield: 4 fish
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes

Pan Fried Crucian Carp Whole Fish with Scallions {Cong Kao Ji Yu 葱烤鲫鱼} is such a traditional Huai Yang style food. It features a tender, naturally delicious crucian carp pan fried with scallion, ginger, and a splash of soy sauce, cooking wine, and sugar. 

Ingredients

  • 2 lb Whole Crucian Carp, 4 fish, wild-caught
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 2 tbsp natural (or dark) soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 4 green onion stalks, sliced into small pieces
  • 20-gram ginger, a small piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 cup of frozen Mao Dou Mi {edamame}, optional

Instructions

Prep Work:

  1. Gather all ingredients.
    Pan Fried Crucian Ingredients
  2. Wash & rinse crucian carp thoroughly inside out, remove gills, trim all fins.
  3. Pat dry the fish with a paper towel, sprinkle with freshly ground white pepper, and set aside.
  4. Fill a 3 Qt saucepan with 75% water and bring it to a boil. Once the water reaches a boil, add the frozen edamame, stir to separate them. Cover with a lid and cook until it reaches a boil again, about 2 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat, remove the edamame from the saucepan using a spider skimmer, drain the water along the way, and place them in a bowl and set aside.
    Blanched Mao Dou Mi {Edamame}
  6. Wash and rinse green onions and ginger. Slice green onions into small, thin pieces and mince the ginger.
    Prep Green Onions and Ginger for Pan Fried Whole Fish
  7. Stuff each crucian with sliced green onions and minced ginger.
    Stuff each crucian with sliced green onions and minced ginger for Pan Frying
  8. Sprinkle and pat a thin layer of arrowroot flour coating on both sides of the fish.
    Prep Crucian for Pan Frying

Sear the Crucian:

  1. Turn the heat to medium and heat a hard-anodized non-stick fry-pan for 2 minutes. Add avocado oil, the remaining ginger, and most of the green onions into the pan. Save some green onions for the garnishing.
  2. Stir a little until fragrant and then lay crucian flat on the pan, one at a time. When you have all the crucians in the pan, leave the pan uncovered and cook for 3 minutes.
    Sear Whole Crucian
  3. Turn the heat to low, gently flip the fish and cook the other side for 2 minutes.
    Sear the other side of Crucian Whole Fish

Add Cooking Condiments and Pan Fry on low heat with the lid on:

  1. Pour sake, naturally brewed soy sauce, and light soy sauce evenly across the four fish. Sprinkle the sugar evenly among four fish. 
    Add Cooking Condiments to Pan Fried Whole Fish
  2. Add the blanched Mao Dou Mi {edamame} between fish. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes.
    Pan Fry Whole Crucian with Scallion

Remove the lid, flip the fish, and pan fry for 3 minutes:

  1. Flip the fish carefully, sprinkle the remaining green onions, and cook for 3 minutes.
    Pan Fried Whole Fish {Huai Yang Style Crucian with Scallion}
  1. All done! Enjoy a naturally delicious fish!
    Pan Fried Whole Fish {Huai Yang Style Crucian with Scallion}
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 682Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 288mgSodium: 822mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 98g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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