Whole Red Snapper in Szechuan Hot Sauce

"My Mom would prepare this dish using the whole fish. I prefer fillets. Adjust the amount of hot bean sauce to fit your guest taste."
photo by Imwatchin photo by Imwatchin
photo by Imwatchin
photo by Sackville photo by Sackville
photo by Sackville photo by Sackville
Ready In:




  • Rub the fish with soy sauce and dry wine mixture.
  • Let the fish fillets marinated in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet, saute the fish fillets for about 3 minutes on each side.
  • Remove the fillets, add garlic, green onion, ginger, chili bean sauce, tomato paste, sugar, vinegar and water.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil before adding the fish fillets back to the skillet.
  • Braise the fish in the sauce for about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Mix the cornstarch with 2 tsp of water, stir in the sauce and cook for another minute.
  • Sprinkle with sesame oil (optional) and serve immediately with steamed rice and your favorite steamed vegetables.

Questions & Replies

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  1. This sauce is excellent on fish! Lots of flavor, and I just love the spicy zing!!! I added some more soy sauce (maybe 2-3 T?) in step 4 to cut the tomato taste a bit and give it that Oriental flavor I'm used to. Just my own preference. I also substituted tilapia fillets, which worked out nicely. I'm keeping my eyes open for a sale on those snapper fillets, though!
  2. Brilliant. Did not use the chilli bean and roasted the whole snapper in the oven for 30 mins. We then added the sauce with fish for 5 min more mins in the oven and it turned out wonderfully.
  3. This sauce was very tasty. My bean sauce was oriental "black bean garlic sauce". Did add a little more sugar than called for (to taste) as the vinegar was quite strong. I think overall though, will use a different fish type next time. Snapper tends to be very fishy in flavor, which I thought would be cut by the sauce, but it wasn't. Will use recipe again with sole, tillapia or mahi-mahi next time.
  4. Great recipe. I made a large fish for Chinese New Year and had the enough left to take to work and share. I had several requests for this recipe and they all loved it. Thanks for posting.
  5. Outstanding recipe. It works well on every fish I've tried it on, except salmon and tuna. I prefer whole fish (see photo). I've used this recipe on bluefish, sea bass, striped bass, talapia, and red snapper. We love spicy so I add a bit more Chili bean sauce and delete the corn starch. Prep time is fast and effortless.


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