Golden pan-seared sole with ginger and spring onion

  • 2, or more as part of a larger spread of dishes
  • 20 minutes

This easy sole recipe from Amy Poon showcases classic Chinese flavours, resulting in a delicious dish perfect for a Chinese New Year feast. The pan-fried sole is cooked until crisp and golden and finished with a ginger, garlic and spring onion dressing. If desired, you can switch sole for pomfret or sea bream.

First published in 2022

Amy says: 'Once upon a time, c.1983, my brother Alan Poon appeared on Pebble Mill at One with Glynn Christian to cook this 'pan-seared' fish dish. For weeks before the show was filmed, we ate 煎封魚 on an almost daily basis as my brother perfected his technique under the watchful and terrifyingly critical eye of my father! This method produces something the Chinese refer to as 'fragrant mouth' – 香口 – meaning literally something that smells good in your mouth, usually something fried with aromatic and moreish qualities.'






Wash the sole and pat it dry. In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, wine and sugar and set aside

  • 1 sole, gutted and cleaned (you could also use pomfret or bream)
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp of Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp of sugar

Heat half of the oil in a large non-stick or well-seasoned frying pan over a medium-high heat. Slide in the whole fish gently and fry for a few minutes, swirling your pan to ensure the oil is evenly spread and to prevent sticking

  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil

Once golden, gently flip the fish over and repeat on the other side until the fish is cooked through. Transfer to a warm serving platter


In the same pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the ginger, garlic and spring onions and fry for a minute or 2 until fragrant


Pour in the wine, soy sauce and sugar mixture and let it bubble away until it thickens, adding a splash of water if it thickens too much. Add the sesame oil, then pour the sauce along the fish. Garnish with coriander and serve

  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 handful of coriander, to garnish

Amy is the founder of Poon's London, a Chinese bistro, deli and grocery concept which produces oils, sauces and condiments as well as wontons and other popular Chinese dishes.

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