Poached fish in sweet vinegar sauce

A sweet, sour and salty delight, this recipe from Hangzhou via Gary Rhodes offers real complexity of flavours
By Gary Rhodes
Poached fish in sweet vinegar sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 x 650 g carp, filleted and pin-boned, sliced into pieces

For the sauce

  • 150 ml rice vinegar, or Mirin
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 50 ml shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 50 g sugar
  • 50 ml light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger

For the fish seasoning

  • 100 ml water
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar, or Mirin
  • 2 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 2 tsp water


1. For the sauce: put the rice vinegar into a bowl and add the dark soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, light soy sauce and a splash of water if necessary. Whisk well to combine, until the sugar has dissolved, then add the ginger.

2. Place the fish into a large pot and add enough water to cover the fish. Bring to a gentle simmer, then add the sauce and simmer the fish for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove the fish from the poaching liquid and leave to rest on a serving plate.

3. For the seasoning: put the water, soy sauce, rice wine and ginger into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour several spoons of the liquid over the fish, then bring the liquid back to the boil and add the vinegar and cornflour paste. Cook until thickened, then pour over the fish and serve.

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