Fried Fish Fillets with Corn Sauce | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Fried Fish Fillets with Corn Sauce

Crispy Fried Fish Fillet with Creamy Corn Sauce

Whenever we have get-together meals in Cantonese-style restaurants with a mix of kids, adults, seniors, this (in Chinese 栗米魚塊) will be one of the dishes ordered. Kids usually show hands for this since anything that is crisp and sweet is going to please them. Seniors also favor the order apparently because they like the meat being boneless and tender. We adults, while enjoying both the fish and sauce, are happy seeing them licking the plate clean.

Admittedly, however, there are times I didn’t enjoy it when I am sensitive enough to detect that there is a frozen smell in the fish, and my inner ego would whisper, ‘Back home and make this yourself.’

My practices prove to me that I only need to be patient with the batter, to properly defrost the fish fillet, and to follow a simple trick to prepare the sauce, then these simple tasks will reward me with some goods pieces of crispy fish fillets and a feather-like creamy sauce.

Crispy Fried Fish Fillet with Creamy Corn Sauce

  • Ingredients
  • 300g fish fillet (I use frozen catfish)
  • 5 tbsp oil for frying
  • Marinades for fish
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp ground white pepper
  • Sauce
  • 1 pc corn, yields ~120g corn seeds
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp corn starch and 3 tsp water to form a paste
  • Batter
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/2 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 tsp custard powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp oil


Preparing fish fillets
Defrost fish fillet. Rinse it (my habit for sanity) and squeeze excess water. Have it laid flat on a plate, then bring two cups of very hot water in a measuring cup. Put the fish with plate in kitchen sink, pour half cup of hot water toward the fillet when you shall see the meat contracted a little bit. Drain any water in the plate (be careful of the hot water or you may need to wear your rubber gloves) and turn to the other side, repeat for the remaining hot water. Pat dry the fillet and cut into into about 5 to 6 cm squares. Marinade them for roughly 15 minutes.

Treating the fish fillet with hot water is to reduce its frozen smell and to make the meat firmer. If you fillet is fresh enough, simply omit this step.

Preparing batter
Sieve together all the flours and powders for the batter, then stir in salt, water to assemble into a lump-free mixture. Lastly, add in oil and mix well.

Heat oil in wok over medium heat. I am doing kind of shallow frying than deep frying therefore smaller amount of oil is used. Downside is, I may only put into wok only 2 to 3 piece battered fillets at a time. No doubt, deep frying delivers a higher efficiency but consumes more oil.

Frying fillets
When oil is heated, dredge fish fillets into the batter, gently put them into wok. Flip to the opposite side when the bottom side turns golden yellow, 2 to 3 minutes for each side as my fillet is about 1cm thick. Dish up piece by piece.

Preparing sauce
I cut kernels from a whole piece of corn. The task is a little bit tedious but it is worth having them fresh than frozen particularly if you are not in a rush. Yet, I know sometimes, we are forced to use the readily available. Whichever one is used, have it ready beside you before frying the fish.

Cutting Corn Seeds

In a pan or in the same wok (drain away the oil for frying), pour in stock and corn seeds, bring it to a boil, then add in salt, sugar and white pepper, mix well and thicken with corn starch paste. Lastly, but an important step to make sure the sauce look good, lower heat, gently spoon in the beaten egg over the surface of thickened sauce (as shown here to minimize lumps). Then, give it a quick stir in the sauce to shape the beaten egg into feather-like patterns.

Pour sauce on the fillets only before serving, serve hot.

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  1. MaryMoh

    This look very delicious. I know my children will love this. I’m sure the corn sauce is even very delicious poured over rice noodles. The fried fish looks very tempting. I just love homecooked meals. Eating out is sometimes very disappointing, especially here…not authentic and yet very expensive.

  2. Eva

    This is hands down my favorite canto dish! I can’t wait to try this at home!

  3. SydneylynTan

    wow.. I want to try this one soon.. 😀 thanks for the recipe.. 🙂

  4. noobcook

    I’ve not tried this dish before, but looking at your photos, it looks really delicious. I often detect frozen fish smell in our local western food stalls too (those hawker and coffeeshop type), so I know what you mean.

  5. the lacquer spoon

    I hadn’t seen this dish in my life, but looks so delicious, making me feel pinching even only the sauce 🙂

  6. Lori

    This sounds delicious! I especially like the corn sauce here. In a couple months corn will be really plentiful here and I’m always looking for new, fresh ways to use it.

  7. tigerfish

    I have not tried this dish in Cantonese restaurants too but I can feel that quite a number of Cantonese dishes calls for creamy sauce like this – almost feels like Wat Dan but with corn in this 😀

  8. Pepy @Indonesia Eats

    Looking yummy! I have to admit I have not tried this dish before. Mom used to make with pineapple and carrot sauce.

  9. mademoiselle délicieuse

    Definitely one of my favourites as a child. When I make this at home though, I pan-fry the fish instead of deep-frying it with batter – this is mainly because I’m lazy though! =p

  10. Angie's Recipes

    You even used the fresh corns for it…..I love this fish dish a lot, actually I am not sure which I like more, the corn sauce or the fish. 😉

  11. mycookinghut

    This dish looks superb! Never tried it before… 😉

  12. Sook

    Wow… I love corn… The corn sauce looks amazing with fried fish!

  13. Ho Ho Ho

    how I wish i could taste it off the screen… 🙁
    beautiful shots

  14. TasteHongKong

    @MaryMoh, No doubt, you always make hearty and wonderful dishes. This one is also inexpensive, costing me less than HKD30 : ).

  15. TasteHongKong

    @tigerfish, You are right, the sauce has some resemblance to Wat Dan, probably translated as ‘silky scrambled eggs’ : ).

  16. 5 Star Foodie

    Sounds excellent with this unique and delicious corn sauce!

  17. XiaoYen

    What a well made dish! This is one of my son’s favorites unfortunately many restaurants don’t make it well here. I would love to make this at home.

  18. Heavenly Housewife

    How beautifully golden and delicious. I love the sauce!

  19. momgateway

    the sauce reminds me of Chinese cream of corn soup….so good

  20. Melody Fury

    This is a beautiful recipe from my childhood in HK! I would love for you to enter it to our 8th monthly veggie contest. This month’s theme vegetable is corn!

    More details:

    Have a great day 🙂

  21. TasteHongKong

    @Medlody Fury, Excuse me for my delayed response. I’m afraid I might not be able to join as suggested in my email sent to you a moment ago. Have fun, enjoy and best to your contest : ).

  22. Janet @Gourmet Traveller 88

    You have done it very well with fresh corns : ) My fave dish. Wanna ask if you have email subscription, because I track better with email than using readers.

  23. TasteHongKong

    Janet @Gourmet Traveller 88, Thanks for asking. Excuse me, email subscription is not available at the moment. I’d appreciate it if you could subscribe my RSS feeds for the time being. Besides, I also announce my new recipes on twitter. I will however look into the email subscription, thank you for advising me.

  24. PlumLeaf

    Thankyou for posting this recipe! I ate this dish in HK and although simple, I didn’t know how to recreate the corn sauce. I attempted this last year but I think didn’t include enough stock for the sauce, hence an ugly, thick lumpy corny mess!

    I don’t like the mess of deep-frying and dealing with used oil so I shallow fry too. I tend to use River Cobbler (Pangasius Hypophthalmus). It’s firm, bland in taste and cheap. Fries quite nicely too.

    I can try this to impress my mum should she come over to my house for dinner! :0)

  25. S.Startz

    This is good for one, right? Sorry, I’m a total ignoramus when it comes to cooking.

  26. TasteHongKong


    I served this for two, hubby and myself, with rice. In the same meal, we also had some vegetable and a soup (if my memory serves me correctly). If you are going to make this as a one dish meal, I believe it will be fine for one; or you may need to increase the amount to make it a satisfying meal.

    In case you are new to cooking, however, I think it would be easier to do this with a smaller quantity like here. Battering and frying the fish fillet piece by piece takes time and requires patient. You may not want to overload yourself for the first time doing this. To serve more than one, try include this easy steamed oysters or stewed tomatoes in your meal.

    Have fun cooking!

  27. kamkam

    OMG Delicioussssssssssssssss ….my first time trying, it’s already in my recipe book…my family loved it and when I cook I love to be complimented . Awesome

  28. TasteHongKong

    Congrats! Keep enjoying …

  29. Eunice

    Made them last night! Everyone in the family loves it, especially my little girl. Delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  30. TasteHongKong

    So glad that your family loves this. Thanks for advising me.

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  32. Graham Hendrick

    I followed this and my children want it again.

  33. TasteHongKong

    @Graham Hendrick,
    Great! And thanks for telling us.