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Banyan Tree Yangshuo Sweet & Sour Fish

Which fool visits China in the dead of winter? ME! I was at Banyan Tree Yangshuo and I loved the scenic view of the mountains and greens. It almost compensated for the cold and wet conditions although I admit that it had crossed my mind SEVERAL times to sleep on the heated bathroom floor if I could not stand the chill in my bedroom.

I was particularly attracted to the Cantonese restaurant there called Bai Yun because the style is similar to our Malaysian Chinese taste with more emphasis on ingredients to elevate the freshness of the dish instead of aromatics overwhelming the freshness of the produce and meat. Here’s the original dish.

Like Rachael Ray says.. yummers.

This sizzling sweet & sour fish is great for the 1°C condition but the best part is, it’s not too overwhelmingly sweet or ketchupy like the ones we have here.

I was inspired to recreate the dish and here is my rendition.

First, marinate grouper cubes in salt, white pepper, a bit of paprika, a generous amount of garlic powder and a few cracks of mixed grounded pepper. After an hour, coat them in tapioca flour, pan fry them and set aside.

Fry cubed white onion followed by garlic and dried chillies.

Add bunashimeiji mushrooms follwed by mushroom sauce or vegetarian oyster sauce.

Add cherry tomatoes, let it simmer for a while.

Add a little water, salt and taste the sauce.

Now start balancing with Tabasco sauce. I love using the Habanero version because it has that fragrant, fruity and sourish taste. This dish would derive it’s tanginess from this sauce. Add a bit of sugar to further balance the dish.

Now thicken and glaze the sauce with cornstarch.

It needs more colour! So I added more paprika followed by folding in my cubed tofu and shrimps marinated in Shaoxing wine and fish sauce.

When the shrimps are turning pink, add the grouper cubes in. Fold them and turn off the fire.

Enjoy it with steaming hot rice and salad leaves.

Recipe serves 2-4

Prep time: 30 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins


2 large fillets or 400g grouper, cubed and marinated in 1 tsp salt, a few dashes of white pepper, quick dash of paprika, 2 tsp garlic powder and a few cracks of mixed ground peppercorn

1 cup of shrimps marinated in 1 tsp Shaoxing wine and a few dashes of fish sauce

1 large handful of fresh salad leaves

2 blocks of tofu, cubed

A large handful of bunashimeiji mushroom

4 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 white onion, cubed

5 cloves of garlic

1 large handful of dried chillies

1 tsp Tabasco Habanero sauce (measurement to balance according to taste)

2 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce

1 tsp cornstarch, diluted with water

Salt and sugar to taste

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