West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy

West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy


"West lake fish in vinegar Gravy", is a traditional and popular dish in Hangzhou, Zhejiang. This dish origin can be traced back to Song Dynasty.

It’s said that a fisherman living near the West Lake in Hangzhou, because of pour family situations, got sick, his sister-in-law caught a fish in the lake and cooked with vinegar and sugar. The fish meat is tender, sour and sweet. After eating, the young fishman was recovery. Later, the dish became to be a famous cuisine in Hangzhou restaurant. Even, a poet wrote a poetry on the wall of a building in Gushan, and this dish attracted lots of people come to Hangzhou. It’s said that Kangxi, an Emperor of Qing Dynasty, has tasted this dish also and gave a high appraisal.


Live grass carp 1 (weighing about 700 grams), Shao wine 25 grams, 1.5 grams of ginger, soy sauce 75 grams, 60 grams of sugar, vinegar 50 grams, wet starch 50 grams, a little sesame oil.

Cooking steps:

    1. First put live grass carp into a large basin filled with water to be hungry for a couple of days, so that the fish meat will be firm and can eliminate soil odor.

    2. The fish back is outwards, cutting from the tail and along the backbone to the submandibular, splitting the head, chopping off fish teeth.

    3. Cooking in the pot placed 1,000 grams of water, stir to boil, and then spread out the fish, back down, put into pot to boil again, then turn to simmer about 3 minutes, until fish paddle fins erecting and eyes sticking out. then, take out with a colander, drain soup, put into a bowl with skin side up and being flat.

    4. Heat up pot and pour the original fish soup 250 grams, Shao wine, soy sauce, sugar, ginger to boil. Add marinade of vinegar, starch and sesame oil, pouring in to serve.


1. This dish must be cooked with live grass carp.

2. Fish cannot be in boiled water for long time, then the meat can be kept as a whole but not broken, meat is tender but not rotten.

3. The marinade for fish must be thick but not much.

Nutritive value

Grass carp: grass carp are rich in unsaturated fatty acids which is beneficial for cardiovascular in a good food; grass carp are rich in selenium, which has anti-aging and good for beauty, meanwhile, also has a certain role for prevention and treatment of cancer.

Ginger: Ginger is helpful for detoxification.

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