Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

Deciding on a Suzhou-Style Recipe

Chopstick Cinema

This Week's Film: Pavilion of Women
Cuisine: Chinese

Of all Suzhou’s famous dishes, the Mandarin Squirrel Fish is by far the most intriguing. However its preparation and presentation is quite complex. It's a whole Chinese perch with head and tail intact, and the body of the fish is cut in a cross-hatched pattern. When fried, the head and tail curl upward and the flesh fans out, causing the fish to resemble a squirrel. The finished dish is served with a ginger-garlic sauce.

However, for my interpretation of Mandarin Fish, I think I’m going to skip the fancy “squirrel” presentation and concentrate on the deep-frying and the sauce. My recipe will be posted at the end of the week, along with my Pavilion of Women film review.