authentic-chinese-food-recipes Chinese food recipes Chinese food recipes

Fish head casserole

Ad Blocker Detected

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

Spread the love

Fish head casserole

Fish Head Casserole: A Traditional Dish from East China

Fish head – casserole – fish – how to make fish head casserole – chinese recipes

Origin and Tradition: Fish head casserole, known as “鱼头煲” (yú tóu bāo) in Chinese, is a beloved dish with its origins in the coastal regions of East China, particularly in provinces like Zhejiang and Jiangsu. As seafood plays a significant role in the cuisine of this region, utilizing the entire fish, including the head, is a common practice to maximize flavor and minimize waste.

This dish exemplifies this culinary tradition, where the head of a fresh fish is simmered in a flavorful broth with vegetables and aromatics, creating a hearty and nourishing dish.


  • 1 large fish head, preferably from a white-fleshed fish such as sea bass or snapper
  • 4 cups fish or chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1 small bunch of bok choy or other leafy greens
  • 2-3 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water until softened
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped green onions and cilantro for garnish


1. Prepare the Fish Head:

  • Rinse the fish head thoroughly under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Cut the fish head into large pieces, separating the cheeks, jaw, and other meaty parts.

2. Prepare the Broth:

  • In a large casserole pot or clay pot, bring the fish or chicken broth and water to a simmer over medium heat. Add the Shaoxing wine, ginger slices, and crushed garlic cloves. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes to infuse the broth with flavor.

3. Add the Vegetables and Aromatics:

  • Add the sliced onion, carrot, tomato wedges, fresh and dried shiitake mushrooms to the simmering broth. Let them cook for 5-7 minutes until slightly softened.

4. Simmer the Fish Head:

  • Carefully add the fish head pieces to the pot, ensuring they are submerged in the broth. Cover the pot and let the fish head simmer gently for 10-15 minutes until cooked through. Be careful not to overcook the fish head, as it may become mushy.

5. Season and Serve:

  • Stir in the soy sauce and oyster sauce to the broth, adjusting the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Add the bok choy or other leafy greens to the pot and let them wilt slightly in the broth.
  • Once the fish head is cooked and the vegetables are tender, remove the pot from the heat. Ladle the fish head casserole into serving bowls, ensuring each bowl has a generous portion of fish head, vegetables, and broth.
  • Garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro before serving.

6. Enjoy:

  • Serve the fish head casserole hot as a comforting and nourishing meal. Enjoy it with steamed rice or crusty bread to soak up the flavorful broth.

Note: Feel free to customize the vegetables and seasonings based on your preferences and ingredient availability. Some variations may include adding tofu, winter melon, or other seafood such as shrimp or squid to the casserole for additional flavor and texture.

This traditional recipe for fish head casserole captures the essence of East China cuisine, showcasing the region’s emphasis on fresh seafood, simple ingredients, and nourishing flavors. Whether enjoyed as a family meal or shared with friends, fish head casserole is a comforting and satisfying dish that celebrates the bounty of the sea and the culinary traditions of East China.

fish head casserole

The Tradition of Fish in Chinese Gastronomy

Fish has long held a significant place in Chinese gastronomy, not only for its delicious taste but also for its cultural and symbolic importance.

From freshwater to saltwater varieties, this ingredient is prepared in a multitude of ways and holds a special significance in various Chinese traditions and celebrations. In this article, we’ll explore the rich tradition of this ingredient in Chinese cuisine, its cultural symbolism, preparation methods, and its role in Chinese festivals and customs.

Cultural Symbolism of Fish in China:

In Chinese culture, it´s associated with abundance, prosperity, and good fortune. The pronunciation of the word “fish” in Chinese, “yú” (鱼), sounds similar to the word for “surplus” or “abundance” (余), symbolizing the wish for abundance and prosperity in life.

During Chinese New Year celebrations, fish dishes are commonly served as they are believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year. Whole fish, with the head and tail intact, symbolize completeness and unity within the family. It is customary to leave some fish uneaten after the New Year’s Eve dinner to signify surplus and abundance for the coming year.

Preparation Methods:

In Chinese cuisine, this ingredient is prepared using various cooking methods, including steaming, boiling, frying, and braising. Each method highlights the natural flavors of the fish while complementing it with different seasonings and sauces.

  • Steamed:  is a classic Chinese dish that highlights the freshness and delicate flavor of the fish. The fish is often steamed whole or in fillets with ginger, scallions, soy sauce, and sometimes a drizzle of hot oil to enhance its aroma.
  • Braised:  is cooked slowly in a flavorful sauce made with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and other aromatics. The fish absorbs the rich flavors of the sauce, resulting in a tender and savory dish.
  • Sweet and Sour:  is a popular dish in southern China, where the fish is deep-fried until crispy and then coated in a tangy sweet and sour sauce made with vinegar, sugar, ketchup, and pineapple.
  • Fish Hotpot:  or “yuanyanghuo” (鸳鸯火锅), is a communal dish where thinly sliced fish is cooked in a simmering broth along with an assortment of vegetables, tofu, and mushrooms. Each diner cooks their own ingredients at the table, making it a fun and interactive dining experience.

Role of Fish in Chinese Festivals and Customs:

This ingredient plays a significant role in various Chinese festivals and customs, symbolizing auspiciousness, prosperity, and good fortune.

  • Chinese New Year: As mentioned earlier, this ingredient is a must-have dish during Chinese New Year celebrations. Families gather to enjoy a reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve, and serving fish symbolizes the wish for abundance and prosperity in the coming year.
  • Dragon Boat Festival: During the Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, it is customary to eat zongzi (sticky rice dumplings) and steamed fish. Steamed fish wrapped in bamboo leaves is a traditional dish enjoyed during this festival, symbolizing good health and protection from evil spirits.
  • Weddings: this ingredient is often served at Chinese wedding banquets as a symbol of happiness, harmony, and abundance in the newlyweds’ marriage.
  • Birthdays: this ingredient is also commonly served at birthday celebrations, especially for elders, as it symbolizes longevity and good fortune.

In Chinese gastronomy, this ingredient is more than just a food—it is deeply rooted in cultural traditions, symbolism, and customs. From its association with prosperity and good fortune to its versatile preparation methods and role in festive celebrations, this ingredient holds a special place in Chinese cuisine and society.

Whether enjoyed at a family dinner or during a festive gathering, this ingredient continues to be cherished and celebrated as a symbol of abundance, happiness, and unity in Chinese culture.

fish head casserole

Chinese Shiitake Mushrooms: Benefits and Culinary Delights

Shiitake mushrooms, native to East Asia and particularly prevalent in Chinese cuisine, are not just a flavorful addition to dishes but also pack a punch when it comes to health benefits. Known scientifically as Lentinula edodes, these mushrooms have been revered in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and are cherished for their culinary versatility. Let’s explore the numerous benefits of Chinese shiitake mushrooms and how they can enhance both your health and your meals.

Nutritional Profile:

Shiitake mushrooms are low in calories and fat but rich in nutrients. They are an excellent source of B vitamins, including niacin (vitamin B3), riboflavin (vitamin B2), and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), which are essential for energy production and metabolism. They also contain important minerals such as copper, selenium, manganese, and zinc, as well as dietary fiber and protein.

Health Benefits:

  1. Immune Support: Chinese shiitake mushrooms are renowned for their immune-boosting properties. They contain compounds like beta-glucans, which have been shown to enhance immune function and help the body defend against infections and diseases.
  2. Antioxidant Properties: Shiitake mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, including polysaccharides, phenols, and flavonoids, which help neutralize harmful free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in the body. This can help lower the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative disorders.
  3. Heart Health: Consuming shiitake mushrooms may have beneficial effects on heart health. They contain compounds like eritadenine, which can help lower cholesterol levels and improve blood circulation, thus reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  4. Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Shiitake mushrooms have anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to compounds like ergothioneine and beta-glucans. Regular consumption of these mushrooms may help reduce inflammation in the body and alleviate symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
  5. Weight Management: Despite being low in calories, shiitake mushrooms are rich in fiber, which can help promote satiety and reduce overall calorie intake. Incorporating them into meals may support weight management and improve digestive health.
  6. Bone Health: Shiitake mushrooms are a good source of minerals like copper, zinc, and manganese, which are essential for bone health. These minerals contribute to bone formation and maintenance, helping prevent conditions like osteoporosis and fractures.

Culinary Uses:

Chinese shiitake mushrooms are prized for their rich, earthy flavor and meaty texture, making them a versatile ingredient in various dishes. Here are some popular culinary uses:

  1. Stir-fries: Shiitake mushrooms are commonly used in Chinese stir-fry dishes, where they add depth of flavor and umami richness to the dish. They pair well with vegetables, tofu, meat, and noodles.
  2. Soups and Broths: Dried shiitake mushrooms are often rehydrated and used to add flavor to soups, broths, and stews. They release a deep, savory aroma when simmered in liquid, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.
  3. Dim Sum: Shiitake mushrooms are a popular filling for various dim sum dishes, such as dumplings and steamed buns. They can be combined with other ingredients like pork, shrimp, or vegetables to create delicious and nutritious appetizers.
  4. Rice and Grain Dishes: Sliced or chopped shiitake mushrooms can be sautéed and mixed with rice, quinoa, or other grains to add flavor and texture. They can also be used as a topping for risottos and pilafs.
  5. Vegetarian and Vegan Dishes: Shiitake mushrooms are often used as a meat substitute in vegetarian and vegan dishes due to their meaty texture and umami flavor. They can be grilled, roasted, or stuffed and used in place of meat in various recipes.

Chinese shiitake mushrooms are not only a delicious addition to meals but also offer a wide range of health benefits. From boosting immune function to supporting heart health and reducing inflammation, these versatile fungi are a valuable addition to any diet. Whether enjoyed in stir-fries, soups, or dumplings, shiitake mushrooms can elevate the flavor and nutritional value of your dishes while promoting overall health and well-being.

fish head casserole

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. View more
Cookies settings
Privacy & Cookie policy
Privacy & Cookies policy
Cookie name Active
Privacy Policy Last Updated On 02-Oct-2022 Effective Date 03-Oct-2022 This Privacy Policy describes the policies of Blog chinese food recipes, Spain, Spain 28802, Spain, email:, phone: N/a on the collection, use and disclosure of your information that we collect when you use our website ( ). (the “Service”). By accessing or using the Service, you are consenting to the collection, use and disclosure of your information in accordance with this Privacy Policy. If you do not consent to the same, please do not access or use the Service. We may modify this Privacy Policy at any time without any prior notice to you and will post the revised Privacy Policy on the Service. The revised Policy will be effective 180 days from when the revised Policy is posted in the Service and your continued access or use of the Service after such time will constitute your acceptance of the revised Privacy Policy. We therefore recommend that you periodically review this page. How We Share Your Information: We will not transfer your personal information to any third party without seeking your consent, except in limited circumstances as described below: Ad service Analytics We require such third party’s to use the personal information we transfer to them only for the purpose for which it was transferred and not to retain it for longer than is required for fulfilling the said purpose. We may also disclose your personal information for the following: (1) to comply with applicable law, regulation, court order or other legal process; (2) to enforce your agreements with us, including this Privacy Policy; or (3) to respond to claims that your use of the Service violates any third-party rights. If the Service or our company is merged or acquired with another company, your information will be one of the assets that is transferred to the new owner. Your Rights: Depending on the law that applies, you may have a right to access and rectify or erase your personal data or receive a copy of your personal data, restrict or object to the active processing of your data, ask us to share (port) your personal information to another entity, withdraw any consent you provided to us to process your data, a right to lodge a complaint with a statutory authority and such other rights as may be relevant under applicable laws. To exercise these rights, you can write to us at We will respond to your request in accordance with applicable law. Do note that if you do not allow us to collect or process the required personal information or withdraw the consent to process the same for the required purposes, you may not be able to access or use the services for which your information was sought. Cookies Etc. To learn more about how we use these and your choices in relation to these tracking technologies, please refer to our Cookie Policy. Security: The security of your information is important to us and we will use reasonable security measures to prevent the loss, misuse or unauthorized alteration of your information under our control. However, given the inherent risks, we cannot guarantee absolute security and consequently, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us and you do so at your own risk. Third Party Links & Use Of Your Information: Our Service may contain links to other websites that are not operated by us. This Privacy Policy does not address the privacy policy and other practices of any third parties, including any third party operating any website or service that may be accessible via a link on the Service. We strongly advise you to review the privacy policy of every site you visit. We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third party sites or services. Grievance / Data Protection Officer: If you have any queries or concerns about the processing of your information that is available with us, you may email our Grievance Officer at Blog chinese food recipes, Spain, email: We will address your concerns in accordance with applicable law.

We embed a Facebook widget to allow you to see number of likes/shares/recommends and “like/share/recommend” our webpages. This widget may collect your IP address, your web browser User Agent, store and retrieve cookies on your browser, embed additional tracking, and monitor your interaction with the widget, including correlating your Facebook account with whatever action you take within the widget (such as “liking/sharing/recommending” our webpage), if you are logged in to Facebook. For more information about how this data may be used, please see Facebook’s data privacy policy:

We use a Twitter Tweet widget at our website. As a result, our website makes requests to Twitter’s servers for you to be able to tweet our webpages using your Twitter account. These requests make your IP address visible to Twitter, who may use it in accordance with their data privacy policy:

We use a GooglePlus widget at our website. As a result, our website makes requests to Google’s servers for you to be able to share our webpages using your GooglePlus account. These requests make your IP address visible to Google, who may use it in accordance with their data privacy policy:

We use a Linkedin Share widget at our website to allow you to share our webpages on Linkedin. These requests may track your IP address in accordance with their data privacy policy:

We use Pinterest Save widget at our website to allow you to pin images to Pinterest from our webpages. These requests may track your IP address in accordance with their data privacy policy:

We use Reddit Badge widget at our website which may log information when you interact with the widget. This may include your IP address, user-agent string, browser type, operating system, referral URLs, device information (e.g., device IDs), pages visited, links clicked, user interactions (e.g., voting data), the requested URL and hardware settings, in accordance with their privacy policy:

We use StumbleUpon Badge widget at our website which may log information when you interact with the widget. Log Data is a form of Non-Identifying Information, in accordance with their privacy policy:

Privacy Policy generated with CookieYes.
Save settings
Cookies settings