Fujian Cuisine

pine fish
  • March 10,2023

A whole fish with pine nuts is served on the table.

pine fish

The first time I ate pine nut fish was at my uncle's wedding banquet. In Guangzhou in mid-1980s, Cantonese pine nut fish was a common dish at wedding banquets, all fish being served on stage. When I was a child, I really couldn't forget this dish, once I try it, I feel that there is nothing more joyful and romantic than this. When I was older, I tried to trace origin of name of this dish, trying to figure out connection between pine nuts and fish, only to find out that this dish comes from Suzhou squirrel carp dish. Qianlong once tasted this dish when he traveled south from Yangtze River and turned it into "mandarin squirrel fish", which became a famous dish in cuisine of Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Cantonese do not like "mouse", probably not because they are afraid of this little animal, but because they want to avoid homophonic "lose". Similar examples can be seen in "luff", which was renamed "Shengua".

Steamed sea fish is a must for a Cantonese-style wedding banquet. However, compared to steam fish, cooking method of cedar fish is actually more complicated and requires culinary skills. Take 600 g of fish meat from 1.5 kg of grass carp, cut it into symmetrical fish fillets, cut out “people” symbol with a knife, brush with egg yolk paste, dry with corn starch, note time and deep-fry in a wok at a temperature of 180 ° C . °C, and then switch to a medium-slow fire and deep-fry. When body of fish hardens, pour sauce into wok. This sauce is very specific and requires use of five willow materials and a sweet and sour sauce. Wuliu material has nothing to do with Mr. Wuliu described by Tao Yuanming. Wuliu refers to five kinds of vegetables such as onion, red ginger, papaya, cucumber and radish. After they are marinated with rice vinegar and sugar, they are cut into pieces. slightly smaller than grains of rice. For large grains, use minced garlic to make a wok, add white green onion seeds and green and red pepper grains, and sauté together to form five willow ingredients. Add sweet and sour sauce, pour this sauce over deep-fried fish in form of pine cones, sprinkle with pine nuts and serve on a plate to guests.

I love sweet and sour taste and have been a huge fan of pine nut fish for many years and want to try it every chance I get. Two years ago, I had opportunity to order a mandarin squirrel surrounded by Suzhou gardens. But if you eat it after you try it, you will lose original surprise and anticipation. It turns out that returning to source will make you lose endless possibilities of building in an imaginary space.

When I was a teenager, I believed in words "The most romantic thing I can think of is growing old with you." But as I get older, I gradually realize that two main regretsniya in life is nothing more than getting what I ask for, or finally getting what I want. This kind of paradox between white moonlight and vermilion mole has long been clearly spelled out by Eileen Chang. After Fan Liuyuan and Bai Liusu got married, they saved all kinds of jokes for other women. Ge Weilong finally married Qiao Qiqiao and never thought he could put Yun in a jar to keep so-called love fresh forever. If these two can really stay together day and night, perhaps they will gradually get used to it, gradually become numb, and may not be able to cherish freshness and mobility of time spent together. Many years later, if old people meet again, they can still drink together on same stage, without any offense, regardless of manners, and, chatting and laughing, eat a piece of cedar fish from head to tail. (Huang Yu)