Suan Cai Yu

As a food blogger and enthusiast, I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting dishes to tantalize my taste buds. And guess what? I recently stumbled upon an incredible Chinese dish called Suan Cai Yu! Hailing from the Sichuan province, this spicy and flavorful delight quickly won my heart (and stomach) over.

So, what’s the secret behind this mouth-watering masterpiece? Suan Cai Yu is a brilliant fusion of pickled vegetables (suan cai) and fresh fish (yu). This unusual combo has caught the attention of foodies worldwide, as it offers a unique blend of flavors and textures. The tangy kick from the pickled veggies is beautifully complemented by the zesty chili oil and the refreshing taste of tender fish, creating an unforgettable experience you’ll be craving for years to come!

Honestly, Suan Cai Yu is like nothing I’ve ever tasted before. The dish strikes the perfect balance between tanginess, heat, and freshness, all while being incredibly satisfying and surprisingly nutritious. With its low calorie count and abundance of essential nutrients, it’s a clear winner in my book!

Now, fair warning: Suan Cai Yu can pack some serious heat 🔥 If your taste buds aren’t quite ready for a spicy adventure, feel free to reduce or even skip the chili oil altogether. But personally, I believe the fiery kick really adds that extra oomph and depth of flavor, making the dish truly remarkable. So, go on – give it a try! You might just discover your new favorite dish.


Take out one whole basa fish, which is suitable for two people.
Mark as done
Thaw at room temperature.
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When cutting the fish into small pieces, the meat should be evenly sliced, not too thick or too thin. The fish slices taste better when they are moderately thick. I talked about how to slice fish in my blog post about fish slicing.
Mark as done
Take one egg white.
Mark as done
Add salt and freshly ground white pepper to the fish slices.
Mark as done
Add the egg white.
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Add an appropriate amount of starch.
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Mix well with your hands and marinate for a while.
Mark as done
While marinating, prepare one package of suan cai (preserved mustard greens), which can be purchased directly from a supermarket or online.
Mark as done
Take half of it and rinse it.
Mark as done
Cut it into small pieces.
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Wash and cut the coriander.
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Prepare ginger, scallion, garlic, dried chili, and Sichuan pepper.
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Heat the oil in a wok, add ginger, scallion, garlic, Sichuan pepper, and dried chili segments, stir-fry until fragrant.
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Add a small amount of Sichuan pepper and continue to stir-fry over low heat.
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Pour in the suan cai.
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Stir-fry over medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes.
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Add an appropriate amount of water (depending on the number of family members) and a little chicken broth.
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Cook for 5-6 minutes, add salt and MSG to season.
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Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the suan cai and put it into a large bowl.
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Leave the suan tang (the sour liquid left in the wok) in the wok, keep it at a low simmer, and gradually add the marinated fish slices into the suan tang.
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Once all the fish slices have been added, turn up the heat to high.
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Bring the entire wok to a boil, and then turn off the heat.
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Pour the fish slices into the large bowl from step 20.
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Sprinkle with coriander.
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Finished product.
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Suan Cai

Suan cai! Also known as pickled mustard greens, this essential ingredient breathes life into the scrumptious Suan Cai Yu dish. This preserved veggie brings a unique sour and salty kick to the table when it teams up with salt, water, and some optional flavor-buddies like chili peppers, ginger, or garlic.

To whip up your own Suan cai, simply ferment fresh mustard greens with salt, water, and whatever seasonings you fancy until you reach that sweet spot of tanginess. Keep it in an airtight container at room temperature, or save it for later use if you’re more of a meal prep kind of person.

Now, let’s talk about creating the masterpiece that is Suan Cai Yu! Start off by giving the suan cai a quick rinse to wash away any excess saltiness. Then, chop it into small pieces and stir-fry it with garlic, ginger, and chili peppers (oh my!). This mouthwatering mixture forms the flavorful base of the dish, providing that tangy, umami-rich taste that pairs oh-so-well with tender fish slices.

But wait, there’s more! Suan cai doesn’t just tickle your taste buds—it also comes with a handful of health benefits. Thanks to the fermentation process, it creates beneficial bacteria perfect for gut health and digestion. Plus, it boosts levels of antioxidants and vitamin C in the vegetable. And did we mention it’s low in calories and high in fiber? Yep, you heard that right—suan cai adds a nutritious punch to any meal. So go ahead and embrace this flavorful and healthful addition to your culinary repertoire!


Suan cai yu is an irresistibly delicious and easy-to-make dish that I simply can’t recommend enough! The mouthwatering combo of tangy pickled vegetables, succulent fresh fish, and tantalizing spicy chili oil will have your taste buds dancing with delight. So, what are you waiting for? Dive in and discover why suan cai yu has become such a cherished staple in Chinese cuisine! 🍲

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