The taste of Yunnan: Jiangchuan hot and sour fish

People living by Xingyun Lake in Jiangchuan district of Yuxi city are good at cooking fish. Among different kinds of delicacies made from fish, hot and sour fish is the most famous.  


Tempting hot and sour fish(Xinhua/Li Dan)

55-year-old Wang Chengfu, the shopkeeper of a restaurant in Jiangchuan, is one of the cooks who do well in hot and sour fish. 


Wang Chengfu is cooking hot and sour fish. (Xinhua/Li Dan)

According to Wang Chengfu, the first step to cook Jiangchuan hot and sour fish is to put fish evenly spread with egg starch paste into hot oil until its skin becomes crispy. The second is to fry chopped seasonings, like capsicum frutescens, garlic and ginger and boil them in water when they smell stronger. Then add some white vinegar, the fried fish and starch noodles into the boiling water. Before eating, put Sichuan pepper, dried pepper and chopped green onion on the fish and pour hot oil over them, which can wake up the fragrance of spices.   


Fresh hot and sour fish (Xinhua/Li Dan)

Jiangchuan hot and sour fish tastes so tender, sour and hot that it is said that it can make people who doesn't like fish love this taste. 

The fish used for cooking Jiangchuan hot and sour fish comes from Xingyun Lake, which is not far from Fuxian Lake and gets its name for the beautiful reflection of the moon and stars at night. The water environment here is proper for fish, so Jiangchuan has abundant fish resources.  


Wang chengfu was catching fish with a net. (Xinhua/Li Dan)

“The best choice for cooking Jiangchuan hot and sour fish is black carp and grass carp living in Xingyun Lake. Generally speaking, black carps are tender and less easily crumbled when cooked than grass carps,” Wang chengfu said. 


Wang Chengfu entertained his customers warmly. (Xinhua/Li Dan)  

Wang Chengfu’s restaurant is highly popular with tourists visiting Xingyun Lake. He took part in a local Ecological Food Festival ten years ago and his hot and sour fish was rated as “gold dish” in a competition. After that, his business has been becoming increasingly successful.   


Wang Chengfu's hot and sour fish won a prize at the first Ecological Food Festival in jiangchuan, Yunnan. (Xinhua/Li Dan)

“I used to work in barbecue stalls and restaurants, but I decided to start a business in my hometown several years later. After years of work, I finally get rid of poverty and live a comfortable life. I hope my son and grandson can further develop the fish culture of Jiangchuan,” Wang Chengfu said. 

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(Editors: Alison, Rachel)

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