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Recipe (1): Chinese Chrysanthemum Fish

Updated on August 3, 2012

Chinese Chrysanthemum Fish is often called Clear-Sighted Chrysanthemum Fish. The recipe originated from a famous Medicine book in Song Dynasty (960 A.D.- 1279 A.D.), which means it originally used as a prescription. To protect eyes is the efficacy of the dish in medicine. In Chinese medicine, fish has efficacy to clear sight and purify liver, which has been proved by modern science due to rich Vitamin A in fish liver fat and unsaturated fatty acid. Pieces of fish are cooked into shapes of golden yellow flowers, which gives the name. To cook the dish, the cooking skill is a point, especially the cutting and the duration of heating, cooking and smelting. The cooked dish looks bright and beautiful, and tastes juicy inside and crisp outside.

Usually, grass carp is chosen for the dish. Grass carp is rich in unsaturated fatty acid and Se element, helps improve blood circulation, and has efficacy to anti-aging and nurture beauty. Of course, is rich in Vitamin A&D. According to Chinese medicine, grass carp is warm in nature, tastes sweet, contributes to liver and stomach meridians, and is good for protecting eyes.

cross-shape cutting
cross-shape cutting | Source
coated with starch
coated with starch | Source


  • 1 (about 1250 g) grass carp
  • 5 g salt
  • 1 g aginomoto or chicken powder
  • 50 g tomato ketchup
  • 5 g ginger, shredded
  • 50 g white vinegar
  • 15 g cooking wine
  • 20 g watered starch
  • 10 g dry starch
  • 5 g garlic, mashed
  • 10 g sesame oil
  • 5 g ginger juice
  • 1500 g vegetable oil

Let's begin from dealing with the carp, and make it into golden flowers.

  • clean the fish, and cut off the head and the tail
  • slice off the fishback meat along the spine
  • get rid of the fishbone in the belly
  • cube the meat with close size
  • cut through every cube until the skin with cross-shape cutting, completely through the meat but never break the skin, i.e. the whole piece still connects together by skin after cutting
  • mix evenly fish, onion green, shredded ginger, cooking wine, salt, and marinate for half an hour
  • coat every fish strip with dry starch, carefully and evenly. Then, leave them for a while to make the starch absorbed on fish

fried fish flowers for twice
fried fish flowers for twice | Source


  1. deep fry fish in vegetable oil with about 175 Celsius degree, and dish up when fish flowers float up
  2. heat the oil back to 175 Celsius degree, and fry the fish flowers again until the color becomes golden yellow. Dish up, dry and cool. Note: frying again is necessary, which helps crisp outside and juicy inside
  3. mix ketchup, sugar, vinegar, ginger juice together, and add in watered starch
  4. remain a little oil in the heated pan, and put into chopped onion green, ginger and garlic, stir frying until fragrant
  5. add in prepared ketchup sauce until bubbling, then add in some chicken powder or aginomoto. Note: chicken powder and aginomoto are the two main seasonings. But aginomoto has cancer-caused materials when heated, so some people, like my mum and me, tend not to use it in hot cooking. A lot people still like it, after all, this is simple life. For example, people still like barbecue even know it help cause cancer.
  6. finally, arrange fish flowers in a plate, and then spray the cooked sauce onto them, then spray sesame oil, then done
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 people
Calories 1125
Calories from Fat405
% Daily Value *
Fat 45 g69%
Saturated fat 9 g45%
Unsaturated fat 36 g
Protein 173 g346%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Here, we used tomato ketchup as the main ingredient of the flavory sauce. However, if you tend not to use it, you can choose orange or lemon juice, or other juice or cocktail that you like. Chinese dish lays much emphasis on three aspects: color, fragrance and flavour. "Color" refers to the beauty-shape and bright color as well as the happy combination of colors, which can improve appetite; "fragrance" means smelling good, also attracting people; "flavour" refers to, of course, delicious taste and balanced nutrition. The dish of "Clear-Sighted or Chinese Chrysanthemum Fish" has a long history, and satified all the three aspects. It is famous and popular. Even people who do not like eating fish tend to taste it, because the original smell and taste of fish meat are already hiden. Sometimes, chefs use other Chinese medical plants in the cooking to add in additional nutritions and medical value. Eating is one of the most important things in our daily life, while good diet can improve our living quality. Please try it, and cast your vote. :)

Clear-Sighted Chrysanthemum Fish

5 stars from 1 rating of Clear-Sighted Chrysanthemum Fish


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    • Hui (蕙) profile image

      Hui (蕙) 5 years ago

      Thank you, 1234. It is my pleasure that you love it. Have a nice day!

    • c1234rystal profile image

      c1234rystal 5 years ago

      Looks really good. I love fish dishes; can't wait to try this one. :D

    • Hui (蕙) profile image

      Hui (蕙) 5 years ago

      Thank you, peach, for the comment. It is my pleasure that you like my recipe. It is my favorite.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Your fish recipe looks super delicious and yummy! I love fish because it is full of protein and not much of chemical based problem. Fish smell shouldn't be a problem if mix with sauces. Thanks for the recipe.