Chinese Sauteed Fish Fillet

For some reason the title above generated very few correct searches on the internet, but if I searched “yu pian” which means fish fillet in Chinese, all sorts of almost correct searches showed up.

Last week a friendly coworker went fishing and caught a massive Tautog, or Blackfish. He generously shared his bounty with me.

After googling “Blackfish”, I was a little worried at first that he wanted me to cook Shamu, but it turns out the Tautog is a somewhat normal looking fish that’s nice and meaty with a light finish. It’s half way between a halibut and a monkfish.


Some kind of white fish



salt and pepper to taste

Rice wine or mirin

small amount of soysauce


Whatever veggie you want

Green onions. (I only used a single stalk)

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First, slice your meaty white fish into slices that are about 1/2 a centimeter to a centimeter thick. Hence “fish fillet pieces”

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It will look something like this.

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1 teaspoon of cornstarch per 1/2 pound of fish, salt, and pepper. Add a little bit of mirin or rice wine so that this turns into a paste.

Then you rub that paste onto the fish. Cornstarch paste is pretty much the secret to all tender sautéed meats in Chinese cuisine.

I marinated the fish for 30 minutes, but anywhere between 15 minutes to 2 hours is fine.

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During the down time, I cut up an asian eggplant. It’s longer than its fatter Western cousin, and I think it tastes a little better.

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I threw it in the wok until it became translucent, and then threw in a slurry of water, corn starch, spices, salt, and a dash of sesame oil on top, quickly turned the veggies in the slurry and let it thicken for a few seconds, and left it in a bowl to sit.

Now for the beautiful fresh fish.

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You can make the fish by itself, but I had some asparagus, so I quickly sautéed the asparagus with some ginger because it takes slightly longer to cook. A couple minutes later, I put the fish in the super hot wok.

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The juice from the fish gets extracted rather quickly, and combined with cornstarch, makes a thick coating that locks in the moisture.

I added a little bit of soy sauce to taste.

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*Delicious* The house smelled like a legit Chinese restaurant. This is what it looks like up close. the fish almost looks like chicken. I threw in 1 sliced scallion, gave it a quick stir, and it was done.

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Easy Peasy dinner!

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