Squirrel Fish 松鼠鳜鱼


Chinese Name: 松鼠鳜鱼

English Name: Squirrel mandarin fish; Squirrel-shaped Mandarin Fish; Squirrel Fish

Category: Suzhou Cuisine姑苏菜

Main Ingredients: Mandarin fish

Squirrel Fish 松鼠鳜鱼
Delicious squirrel fish

Squirrel Fish 松鼠鳜鱼, also known as squirrel mandarin fish松鼠桂鱼, is a representative of both color and flavor in Suzhou cuisine姑苏菜. It is said that Emperor Qianlong乾隆皇帝 went to the south of the Yangtze River长江 to have a meal in Suzhou Songhelou松鹤楼 restaurant.

The chef carved patterns on the fish with carp, marinated it with seasoning, wrapped it with egg yolk paste, fried it in a hot oil pot, and then poured hot sweet and sour marinade. It was shaped like a rat. And It was crisp outside and tender inside, sour and sweet and delicious. Emperor Qianlong was very satisfied with it. Later, this dish became famous in Suzhou.

Squirrel Fish 松鼠鳜鱼
Poster of squirrel mandarin fish

The ancient “Squirrel fish” is hanging egg yolk paste, while today’s “Squirrel Fish” is drying starch. And the ancient “Squirrel fish” was cooked with oil and soy sauce after frying. Today, the prepared brine is poured directly after frying. In addition, today’s “Squirrel fish” is more realistic in shape and tastes sour, sweet and delicious, which are unmatched by the ancient “Squirrel fish”.

Squirrel Fish 松鼠鳜鱼
Squirrel mandarin fish with beautiful shape

“Squirrel mandarin fish” is a representative of Suzhou cuisine and has long enjoyed a high reputation at home and abroad. This dish is colored, fragrant, delicious and tangible. What’s more interesting is the sound. When the fried mandarin fish like a squirrel is served, it is immediately poured with steaming brine, and the fish will squeak like a squirrel. In September 2018, squirrel mandarin fish was selected as one of the top ten classic dishes in Jiangsu.

Squirrel Fish 松鼠鳜鱼
Hand-painted squirrel mandarin fish

Squirrel fish can be described as the technical representative of Chinese cuisine. It not only has complete color and flavor but also represents that a chef’s technology has reached a certain stage. Friends interested in Chinese cuisine can’t miss the master of Chinese cuisine – Squirrel mandarin fish!

Squirrel Fish 松鼠鳜鱼
Squirrel mandarin fish with beautiful color

How to make Squirrel Fish?


  • A mandarin fish
  • A little cooking wine
  • A little pepper
  • An appropriate amount of pine nuts
  • An appropriate amount of ketchup
  • 500g vegetable oil
  • 40g starch water
  • A proper amount of salt
  • An appropriate amount of fruit granules
  • 15g vinegar
Squirrel Fish 松鼠鳜鱼
Vivid squirrel mandarin fish


  • Step 1, Remove the scales, gills, fins and internal organs of the mandarin fish, remove the leather clothes on the head, wash it, cut off the fish head, spread it out and pat it flat. Cut off the bones on the back of the fish with a knife (don’t cut the belly), and leave about 1 cm of the spine at the tail. After the mandarin fish is boned, spread out the skin downward and cut it into a flower knife with an oblique knife. The knife is as deep as four-fifths of the meat. Don’t cut the skin of the fish. And open a mouth at the tail and pull the tail out of the knife.
  • Step 2, Sprinkle the fish with salt, pepper, cooking wine and wet starch (a little).
  • Step 3, Heat the frying pan and pour vegetable oil into it. Heat the oil to 70%. Dip the mandarin fish in a little starch and fry it in the oil pan for several minutes. The skin is golden and the fish is cooked. Then dip the fish head in starch and fry it in the oil pan until it is golden yellow. Take it out and put the side with the flower knife upward in the fish pan and install the fish head.
  • Step 4, Put the pine nuts in a warm oil pan, fry them for half a minute after the oil is hot, and then remove them. Put them in a small bowl for standby.
  • Step 5, Leave a little oil in the frying pan, add a little clear soup, add salt, sugar, ketchup and vinegar, boil, thicken with wet starch, add a little hot oil, push it evenly, pour it out of the pan on the fish, and sprinkle pine nuts and fruit grains.
Squirrel Fish 松鼠鳜鱼
Squirrel fish


  • Pay attention to changing the oblique knife into a flower knife, which has certain requirements for knife skill.
  • Don’t cut the fish skin. It’s convenient for frying and modeling.
  • The dipping material can be prepared according to personal preferences.

Video Guide

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