Dongpo ink fish

Updated: 2012-03-12 17:28


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Dongpo ink fish is a well-know traditional Sichuan dish. Legend goes like this: Su Dongpo(1037-1101), a famous poet in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), used to wash his ink-slab in the river at the foot of the Lingyun Cliff when he studied at the Lingyun Temple. The fish in the river drank the ink so that they became as black as ink. Hence people call the fish "Dongpo ink fish." With the Giant Buddha at Leshan gaining recognition in the workd, the fish also won its fame, placed among the three famous river fishes of Sichuan (the other two: Jiangtuan, a yellow river can fish; Feituo, a dark river catfish). Tourists to Leshan often take pleasure in tasting the delicacy.

Dongpo ink fish


One fresh ink fish(750g)

Sesame oil

Bean sauce

Steeped and cooked lard 50g each

Grated scallion 15g

One scallion stalk

Grated ginger 10g

Grated garlic 10g

Vinegar 40g

Shaoxing rice wine 15g

Cornstarch 7g

Salt 1.5g

Soy sauce 25g

Cooked rapeseed oil 1.5kg (150g to be consumed)

Broth and sugar to taste


Dongpo ink fish

1. Clean the ink fish. Slice and remove spine. Make 6 or 7 cuts in each side. Rub salt and rice wine on the fish. Shred the scallion stalk. Mash the bean sauce.

2. Heat rapeseed oil to 80% hot. Rub fish with cornstarch flour. Lift up the fish by tail. Sprinkle hot oil on the cuts. When the cuts turn up the fish sets shape, deep-fry the fish until golden-brown. Take out and put it on a plate.

3. Retain 50g oil in the work. Add lard 50g, scallion, ginger, garlic and bean sauce and stir-fry until aromatic. Add broth, sugar, soy sauce and thicken with steeped cornstarch solution. Put in some grated scallion, add vinegar and sesame oil. Sprinkle on the fish immediately. Finally sprinkle on some scallion shreds and serve.