Braised Fish in Soy Sauce (Hong Shao Yu)

May 20


Jacklyn Chen

Jacklyn Chen

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Braised Fish in Soy Sauce, or Hong Shao Yu, is a quintessential Chinese dish known for its vibrant red hue, glossy appearance, and rich aroma. The secret to achieving its signature look and taste lies in frying the fish to a golden crisp before braising it in a savory soy sauce mixture. This method ensures a dish that is both visually appealing and deliciously flavorful.


For Marinating the Fish

  • 4-5 slices of grass carp (or your preferred fish)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

For Frying

  • 5 slices of ginger
  • 1 green onion (scallion),Braised Fish in Soy Sauce (Hong Shao Yu) Articles chopped
  • 3 tablespoons oil

For the Sauce

  • 4 star anise
  • 1 piece of cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cups water

For Final Touches

  • 2 tablespoons cooking wine
  • A dash of monosodium glutamate (MSG)


  1. Marinate the Fish: Combine the fish slices with cooking wine and soy sauce. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours to ensure the flavors are well absorbed.
  2. Fry the Fish: Heat oil in a pan until it reaches about 80% of its smoking point. Add the chopped green onion and ginger slices. Fry the marinated fish until both sides are golden brown. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside.
  3. Prepare the Sauce: In the same pan, add the star anise, cinnamon, sugar, soy sauce, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer until it thickens. Remove the star anise and cinnamon pieces. Add a generous spoonful of ketchup and bring the mixture to a boil again.
  4. Braise the Fish: Return the fried fish to the pan with the thickened sauce. Add the cooking wine and a dash of MSG. Simmer until the sauce is reduced and coats the fish evenly.

Cooking Time

  • Total: 20 minutes

Nutritional Information

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Calories per serving: 277.5
  • Protein per serving: 20.1 g

Interesting Facts and Stats

  • Fish Consumption: According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), global fish consumption has increased significantly, reaching an average of 20.5 kg per capita in 2018. This highlights the growing popularity of fish-based dishes worldwide (FAO).
  • Soy Sauce Production: China is the largest producer of soy sauce, with an annual production of approximately 5 million tons. This staple condiment is integral to many Chinese dishes, including Hong Shao Yu (Soy Sauce Market Report).
  • Health Benefits: Fish is an excellent source of high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for heart health. Regular consumption of fish can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 36% (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health).


Braised Fish in Soy Sauce is not just a dish; it's a culinary experience that brings together the rich traditions of Chinese cooking. By following these steps, you can create a meal that is both visually stunning and deeply flavorful. Enjoy this classic dish with your family and friends, and savor the taste of authentic Chinese cuisine.

Note: You may freely republish this recipe as long as the author bio and active hyperlinks are kept intact. Thank you.