Aug 20

five spices chineseIn the US, carp has never enjoyed its Eastern European popularity. From Bulgaria to Ukraine, this is probably the most prized freshwater fish. The reason for this difference is probably the better quality and flavor of European compared to American variety. Also, in Eastern Europe, carp is prepared in myriad ways: broiled, grilled, fried and roasted. When mixed with other white fish, carp becomes a favorite Jewish fish meal: gefilte fish. But, not only in Europe, carp is also prepared and enjoyed in Asian countries. Have you eaten Hs’un Yu fish in some Chinese restaurant? Well, if you like Chinese food and you find carp tasty, we have one recipe to share with you: Five-spices Carp.


  • 1 cleaned carp, with head and tail removed (approx. 2 pounds)
  • 1 scallion with green top: cut into length of 2 inches
  • chicken stock (1/4 cup)
  • soy sauce (1/4 cup)
  • Chinese rice wine (1/4)
  • salt (1/2 teaspoon)
  • dark brown sugar (2 tbs)
  • peanut oil (3 cups)
  • five-spice powder (1/2 teaspoon)
  • ginger root (4 slices: 1/8-inch thick and 1 inch in diameter)


Wash the carp fish using running water (as cold as possible) and afterwards pat the fish dry. Split it in half by cutting along carp’s backbone using sharp knife. After removing the bones, lay both halves flat on a chopping board chop them crosswise into slices of 1/2-inch width.

Use a larger bowl to mix together scallions, wine, soy sauce, ginger and salt. Add the sliced carp to the mixture and coat each slice thoroughly. Marinate the carp for approx. 3 hours and stir it from time to time. Remove the strips from the marinade using spoon and put them on a rack to drain. After that, marinade should be strained leaving only the liquid while ginger and scallions are being removed.

Put strained marinade, peanut oil, five-spice powder and chicken stock within easy reach to prepare for the next preparation step. Boil the marinade in a pan over high heat and afterwards reduce the heat to the lowest point. Brown sugar and chicken stock should be stirred now. The sauce should simmer while the next step is done.

Put peanut oil in a heavy deep fryer and heat it up (temperature above 375 degrees). Drop the fish strips into the oil (six pieces at a time) and deep fry them until golden brown and crispy (about 5 minutes). When this is done, pick the strips up with tongs and dip then in the sauce. Cool everything to the room temperature and lay the carp strips side by side on platters. Before you serve them, sprinkle the carp strips with five-spice powder.

Enjoy the meal!