How to Make Delicious Pan-Fried Hairtail: A Step-by-Step Guide

Q: Can I use other types of fish for this recipe?
A: Yes, you can, but hairtail (or ribbon fish) is recommended for its unique texture and flavor.

Q: How long should the fish marinate in the fridge?
A: It should marinate overnight to fully absorb the flavors.

Q: Is it necessary to use starch for coating?
A: Yes, a thin coat of starch helps in achieving a crispy texture when pan-fried.

Pan-Fried Hairtail (Ribbon Fish)


  • Hairtail (ribbon fish) - 500g
  • Old ginger - 1 piece
  • Green onion - 1 segment
  • Garlic - 3 cloves
  • Star anise - 1 piece
  • Sichuan peppercorns - 8 grains
  • Chili peppers - 3
  • Five-spice powder - to taste
  • Salt - to taste
  • Cooking wine - 1 spoon
  1. Clean the hairtail and score both sides.
  2. Rub the fish with salt, then add ginger strips, garlic slices, dried chili, Sichuan pepper, star anise, five-spice powder, and pour in cooking wine. Mix well, massage for a few minutes, then seal and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Remove the seasoning and use kitchen paper to dry the surface. Lightly coat with a thin layer of starch.
  4. Heat oil in a pan. Add the marinating spices (excluding the liquid) to the cold oil, fry until fragrant, and then remove the spices. Increase the heat and heat the oil to about 60% hot, sprinkle a circle of salt, add the fish, and pan-fry on medium-low heat until both sides are golden brown. Increase the heat, bringing the oil to 70-80% hot, and briefly refry the fish.
  5. The fish should be crispy and delicious. If the hairtail is small and thin, even the bones can be crispy and flavorful. Serve with pepper salt or sweet and sour sauce if desired.
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  • Rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Contains essential minerals like iron and selenium
  • Low in carbohydrates