Hunan Steamed Fish with Salted Chilis

October 27, 2022

Duo Jiao Yu translates to “Hunan Steamed Fish” in Chinese.

Typically, the head and the top half of the fish are used to make this meal, although we have sometimes seen whole fish used.

Fish fillets are used in this Hunan dish, making it simpler to cook and serve.


When we first tried this recipe at home, we were ecstatic to discover how easy it was to prepare.

This meal is wonderful and uniquely Hunanese because of the combination of salted/pickled peppers and fermented black beans with fresh fish and fragrant tofu. The Duo Jiao Yu fish dish is equally good when prepared by dividing a whole tilapia, but this requires a little more work.

Duo jiao is a type of salted chilies that are “pickled” in brine after being coarsely diced. You may purchase them in jars from the sauce section of your neighborhood Chinese supermarket. Verify that your purchase includes more than just chili sauce.

Rather than being vinegary, they have a little salty flavor and a ton of flavor. When compared to other chilies, these are on the milder side. If you shop at a Chinese supermarket, look for the Tantan Xiang brand.

A better option is to show the store owner the image, so they can direct you to the correct section. Be wary about picking up the wrong sauce by accident.

There are other chili sauces on the market that appear similar to this one, but they are MUCH too spicy for this dish.

One-half of a teaspoon is all you need to give your entire bowl of noodles a scorching kick. Even thinking about dousing this food with that stuff is terrifying.

Be sure to zero in on the right one, though! A few of the packages even have an image of this meal!


  • 340g of tilapia or flounder filet
  • 340g of firm tofu
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/4-1/3 cup of jarred hunan chili peppers
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of rinsed and drained fermented black beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • Small bunch of roughly chopped cilantro
  • Noodles


  1. You’ll need a large shallow bowl or plate with a 1-inch ring around the sides to fit into your wok’s shallow steamer rack. Fish fillets should be washed and dried with a paper towel before cooking.
  2. Slice the rectangular pieces of tofu, about half an inch thick.
  3. Place the tofu in two parallel rows in the center of the plate or bowl. The fish filet should be positioned atop the tofu. Fillets that are too large for their respective plates can be made to fit by folding the fillet’s narrow tail end and tucking it underneath the fillet.
  4. In a bowl, thoroughly combine the soy sauce, peppers, and sugar. Evenly coat the fish and tofu with the sauce. Black beans should be cleaned and strained to remove any debris. Sprinkle them on top of the meal.
  5. Turn off the heat after the water in your wok has come to a boil. Insert the steamer rack into the wok and set the plate on top of it. The water should be brought back up to a light simmer, so turn the heat back on. The fish is done when a butter knife can be inserted into it without any resistance, and it has been steamed for 12 minutes with the lid on the wok.
  6. There appears to be a substantial amount of fluid that escapes throughout the steaming process. Sprinkle some liquid on top and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and scallion. Prepare the rice right away and serve!
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