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Chinese Recipes
Wong Pei Tao or Yellow Throat Fish
Wong Pei Tao is a small sea fish about 3 or 4 inches long. It is common in wet markets near the South China Sea, where it is often sold freshly caught and chilled.
Buyer's Tip

Fish sold should be caught fresh that morning, so go to the wet market early (7am) to ensure you get quality fish.

They should normally be sold from a polystyrene box which acts as a chiller for the cold fish inside. Often these are simply displayed on the counter, and if so, smell them to ensure they are not high.

The vendor will quickly descale and gut these for you, and if not, ask them to do this for you - there is no extra charge for this service.
Image: Wong Pei Tao or small yellow fish - Click to Enlarge

Remove the scales and gut if not already done and wash them thoroughly. Place in a bowl as pictured above and using your hands, rub them with salt. Leave to marinade for 1 hour in a tablespoon or two of soy sauce. This also ensures they are completely defrosted and also lets them breath.

These fish are cooked whole like whitebait, but there is nothing to stop you removing the heads and fins if you prefer.

Recipe 1 - Stir Fry or Sautéed Fish

To a wok add a couple of teaspoons of quality oil and a few smashed Chinese Garlic. If using western style garlic, then smash and dice 4 or 6 cloves into small pieces. Cook for 1 minute on high heat, stirring a lot. Then add an ounce of diced fresh ginger, which can be thin sections and include the washed skin. Add the fish and and marinade juices, stirring carefully to seal them. Reduce the heat a little after browning both sides and and cover with a lid.

We are still cooking at higher temperature than a simmer, so check every minute or so. Turn the fish after 2 minutes or less, and be ready to serve after 4 minutes.

I like to serve this in a dish with all the cooking juices. The perfect garnish comprises of very thinly sliced ginger strips, accompanied by what I know of as Chinese Cress - they look like grass stalks about 1 or 2 inches long, have a natural lemon taste that compliments the fish and sauce exquisitely. This is also a standard fish dressing by the way.


1. When serving, add the ginger strips and Chinese Cress to a side dish with a little soy sauce.

2. Alternatively, slice a hot green chilli into rings of up to 1 inch diameter and again serve in a bowl of soy sauce. There is no need to remove the seeds, but you can if you want to? The chilli essence actually leaks into the sauce over time, this taking the heat out of them, whilst giving the juice a tangy flavour.
This information is as supplied by ourselves, and ably supported by our friends and various internet portals.
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