Recipe Blog - Chinese Beer Fish - Feature

Chinese Beer Fish

By: Sam and Shauna

We absolutely love making this dish. It’s a real showstopper of a centrepiece and you only need some simple boiled rice to serve with it. This dish is fragrant, beautiful, and healthy. We also recommend taking your time with garnishing at the end, releasing your extrovert side, and go overboard with the presentation!

Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min

Chinese Beer Fish





  • 2 x Whole 600gm Seabass

Fish Stuffing

  • Handful of coriander with stalks, minced
  • 2 large red chillies, minced (deseed if you prefer)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 thumb of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch spring onions, minced
  • 3tbls sesame oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2tbls Neutral Oil for brushing

For the beer sauce

  • 200ml Chinese lager
  • 100mls of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 bunch spring onions, sliced diagonally (whites and greens separated)
  • 2 large red chillies, diced
  • 2-3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3tbls light soy sauce
  • 1tsp Szechuan Peppercorns, toasted and ground
  • 2tbls dark soy sauce
  • 2tbls Oyster Sauce
  • 1tsp white sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 3tbls neutral flavour oil (vegetable, ground nut, sunflower)
  • 1tsp cornflour
  • 1tsp water to make a slurry

Fish Garnish

  • 1 thumb of ginger, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 large red chilli, sliced into thin rings
  • 1/2 bunch spring onions, sliced diagonally
  • Handful chopped coriander plus a few coriander stems
  • 1 tomato, deseeded and finely diced

To serve

  • Steamed long-grain rice with Black sesame seeds on top

Additional Equipment Needed:

  • Fish Basket/ Flexible Grill Basket
  • Large BBQ-safe pan
  1. Start by patting dry the seabass with a paper towel inside and out. Make three diagonal cuts along one side of both the fish. Mix your stuffing ingredients and stuff the majority into the cavity of the fish. Tuck a teaspoon or so into the diagonal cuts also. Brush both sides of the fish with the oil
  2. Set the fish in your fish basket and cook directly over high heat. We’re not necessarily trying to cook the fish at this stage, but we do want a little BBQ char on both sides to add flavour. When you see a little of the skin bubbling and getting some colour, around 5-7 minutes, remove and set aside. Do not try and remove from the basket straight away, allow the fish to cool for at least 5 minutes and the skin should not stick to the basket. 
  3. Next, get a roasting pan big enough for the two fish to sit side by side. Place the pan directly over the heat of your grill. Add the oil and saute the garlic, diced tomatoes and white parts of the spring onion. When these have softened, and you have some good heat in your pan, add the chillies, cook for a few seconds then deglaze with the beer. This should bubble up and come to the boil. Now add the orange juice, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Szechuan pepper sugar and Oyster Sauce. Mix well. 
  4. Now place the two fishes into the sauce, making sure they’re placed slashed side up. Add some extra wood to the BBQ for some smokiness and close the lid. Allow the fish to steam cook in the aromatics and wood smoke for 19 - 21 minutes. Enough time to make some rice.
  5. Carefully remove the fish and set on a large serving platter. Add the roasting tin back on the BBQ and thicken the remaining sauce with the cornflour slurry. Mix well, season with a little more light soy sauce if you think it requires more salt. 
  6. Carefully spoon the sauce around the fish, now build the beautiful garnish: You’re going to concentrate on the middle of the fish, so you can see the head and tail. Start with the ginger matchsticks, then some coriander stems, spring onions and repeat. Finish by placing a few red chilli rings on the top. 
  7. Serve your bowls of long-grain rice garnished with black sesame seeds and a frosty glass of crisp beer. Enjoy!

Share your best BBQ Fish recipes and photos on our social pages like Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtags #NapoleonGrillsUK and #NapoleonSamandShauna 

Happy Grilling!

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Sam and Shauna
Sam and Shauna

Sam and Shauna, also known as the ‘First Ladies of Cue’, are renowned BBQ chefs who combine traditional Southern US grill techniques with the best of British ingredients including some special Welsh twists, representing where they are based.

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