Trincas' Chilli Fish

Bhetki fillets marinated, deep-fried and finished in a quick sauce

  • Cooking time
    1 hour
  • Calories
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This recipe is part of a new series on our channel, where we go behind the scenes at restaurants that fascinate us, to learn what goes into bringing us the lovely meals and happy times we enjoy when we eat out. In part I, we covered Trincas' signature chicken à la Kiev. This is the part II, featuring chilli fish, from The Ming Room, Trincas Kolkata's Chinese dining room, which opened its doors to the public in 1982.

In this recipe, the Trincas chefs take us through the process of slicing fresh bhetki fillets to produce even pieces of fish; preparing one of the most crucial components in all Chinese cooking, the stock; prepping the vegetables for even cooking and texture; and finally, frying the fish and finishing it in sauce for an order.

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15 servings

For the marinade

  • 1.6 kg bhetki fillets, sliced
  • 1.5 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp stock powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g cornstarch
  • 100 g vegetable oil

For the sauce (each serving)

  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 large onion, cored and cut in triangles
  • 1 capsicum, deseeded and cut in triangles
  • 4 green chillies, cut on the bias
  • green onions, cut 2-cm long
  • soy sauce
  • chilli paste
  • sugar
  • pepper
  • stock powder
  • cornstarch slurry
  • vegetbale oil, for deep-frying and cooking


  1. Slice the bhetki fillet into even pieces. Prepare the marinade and coat the fish with it.
  2. Deseed the capsicum and cut into triangles. Core the onion and cut into triangles. Chop chilies on the bias, and green onions 2 cm long.
  3. Heat oil in a wok for deep-frying. Fry the fish pieces, first at a medium-low temperature (~150°C) for a minute to cook the fish through. Remove from the oil and set aside.
  4. Raise the heat to increase the temperature of the oil to ~180°C. Fry the fish pieces a second time to crisp it from the outside and lend it colour. Set aside.
  5. With about 4 tbsp of oil in the wok, add chopped ginger and garlic. Next add the onions, capsicum and green chillies.
  6. After a few seconds add soy sauce and chilli paste, then sugar, pepper, stock powder, and some green onions.
  7. Add in the fried fish and toss well. Finish with a dash of the cornstarch slurry for a shiny finish. Garnish with green onions.

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