1. Fried Fish in Hot Five Willow Sauce
  2. Cold or Hot-Tossed Noodles

Since Szechuan is some 1000 miles inland, most of its fish dishes are freshwater - eel, carp, pike, perch, etc. The fish is often simply deep-fried as here, and then served in a thick strong-tasting sauce. Menu serves 6.

1. Fried Fish in Hot Five Willow Sauce ()
    1 tablespoon shredded root ginger
    1 tablespoon salt
    600 ml (1 pint) vegetable oil
    1 carp,perch or pike, about 1.25-1.5 kg (2 1/2 - 3 lb)
    3 tablespoon lard
    3 spring onions, cut into 5 cm (2 inch) sections
    1 small green pepper, cored, seeded and cut into strips
    1 small red pepper, cored, seeded and cut into strips
    2 chillis, seeded, and shredded
    2 rashers bacon, shredded
    2 tablespoons winter pickle
    3 tablespoons chicken stock
    2 teaspoons sugar
    2 tablespoons dry sherry
    3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

    Preparation time: 20 minutes
    Cooking time: about 20 minutes

1. Mix half the ginger with the salt and 1 tablespoon oil. Rub the fish inside and out with this mixture.

2. Heat the oil in a wok until smoking and deep-fry the fish for 6 minutes. Remove and drain.

3. Heat the lard in another wok. Add all the vegetables for the sauce as well as the bacon and pickle and stir-fry over a high heat for 2 minutes. Add the stock, sugar, sherry, soy sauce, bean paste and sweet bean paste. Blend the cornflour with the water and stir into the sauce. Lower the fish into the sauce. Cook, basting with the liquid, for 1 1/2 minutes. Turn the fish and cook for another 2 1/2 minutes. Reduce the heat and cook slowly for 5 more minutes then serve.

2. Cold or Hot-Tossed Noodles ()
    6 tablespoons vegetable oil
    225 g (8 oz) beansprouts
    225 g (8 oz) lean pork, cut into matchstrip strips
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    1 tablespoon chilli sauce
    1/2 teaspoon sugar
    75 g (3 oz) Szechuan pickle, shredded
    3 spring onion, shredded
    3 tablespoons water
    450 g (1 lb) fresh egg noodles, or 350 g (3/4 lb) dried noodles

    Preparation time: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok and add the beansprouts. Stir-fry guickly for 1 minute, then remive and drain on peper towels.

2. Add the remaining oil to the wok and reheat. Add the pork, salt, soy sauce, chilli sauce, sugar, pickle and spring onions. Stir-fry together for 4 minutes, then add the water and return the beansprouts to the wok. Stir-fry for another 2 minutes.

3. Plunge the noodles into a large pan of boiling water and cook until the noodles are soft but still firm to bite - about 3 minutes for fresh noodles and 7-8 minutesfor dried ones. Drain and toss with two-thirds of the pork and beansprout mixture.Arrange on a large serving dish and pour the rest of the sauce on top. Serve hot or cold.

<>   Xiaoniu SuChu Hsu (p) 1998    suchu@techart.nia.edu.tw