Savoring Chinese Culinary Heritage: Fish Kicap Recipe in Traditional Style - Today Resepi Ideas

Savoring Chinese Culinary Heritage: Fish Kicap Recipe in Traditional Style

Embark on a culinary journey through the vibrant flavors of Chinese cuisine with our exploration of the classic Fish Kicap Recipe. This delectable dish, known for its harmonious blend of sweet, savory, and tangy notes, is a testament to the culinary artistry of China.

With its origins deeply rooted in traditional Chinese cooking, Fish Kicap captures the essence of simplicity and elegance. As we delve into the intricacies of this recipe, we will discover the secrets behind its exquisite taste and explore the various techniques that bring this dish to life.

Fish Selection and Preparation

fish kicap recipe chinese style

To create an exceptional fish kicap in Chinese style, the choice of fish plays a pivotal role. While personal preferences may vary, certain species are particularly well-suited for this dish due to their firm texture and delicate flavor.

Three highly recommended options include sea bass, tilapia, and pomfret. These fish possess a mild taste that complements the savory and slightly sweet kicap sauce, allowing their natural flavors to shine through.

Selecting the Fish

  • Opt for fresh, wild-caught fish whenever possible. This ensures the highest quality and flavor.
  • Look for fish with bright, clear eyes, firm flesh, and moist gills. Avoid any fish with dull eyes, slimy flesh, or an unpleasant odor.
  • Select fish that are of a suitable size for your recipe. For this dish, medium-sized fish are ideal, as they cook evenly and provide a good balance of flesh and bones.

Preparing the Fish

  • Rinse the fish thoroughly under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Using a sharp knife, make a shallow incision along the belly of the fish from the anal fin to the head.
  • Carefully remove the internal organs and gills. Be sure to remove the black membrane lining the body cavity, as this can impart a bitter taste to the dish.
  • Rinse the fish inside and out with cold water to remove any remaining blood or debris.
  • If desired, you can remove the scales from the fish using a fish scaler or a sharp knife. This is not necessary, but it can make the fish easier to eat.
  • Pat the fish dry with paper towels before cooking.

Ingredients for Kecap Sauce

Creating a flavorful kecap sauce is essential for achieving the authentic taste of fish kicap. The core ingredients include soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and cooking oil, which are combined to form the base of the sauce. To enhance the taste, optional ingredients like ginger, garlic, and chili peppers can be added, providing a depth of flavor and a touch of spiciness.

Essential Ingredients

  • Soy Sauce: Use high-quality soy sauce for a rich and savory flavor. Dark soy sauce is commonly used, but light soy sauce can also be employed for a milder taste.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar or brown sugar can be used to balance the salty flavor of the soy sauce. Adjust the amount according to your desired sweetness level.
  • Vinegar: Rice vinegar or white vinegar adds a tangy acidity to the sauce, balancing the sweetness of the sugar. Use unseasoned vinegar to avoid overpowering the other flavors.
  • Cooking Oil: Neutral-flavored cooking oils like vegetable oil or canola oil are suitable for making the kecap sauce. They provide a medium for caramelizing the sugar and infusing the flavors of the other ingredients.

Optional Ingredients

  • Ginger: Freshly grated ginger adds a warm and slightly spicy flavor to the sauce. It also helps to balance the sweetness and acidity of the other ingredients.
  • Garlic: Minced garlic adds a savory and aromatic flavor to the sauce. It pairs well with ginger and chili peppers.
  • Chili Peppers: Finely chopped chili peppers, such as red chili peppers or bird’s eye chili peppers, can be added to the sauce for a spicy kick. Adjust the amount according to your heat preference.


The measurements for each ingredient in the kecap sauce can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences. A good starting point is to use equal parts soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar. For example, if you are using 1/4 cup of soy sauce, use 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of vinegar.

Adjust the amount of ginger, garlic, and chili peppers according to your desired flavor profile.

Cooking Methods

The preparation of fish in kicap sauce offers various methods, ranging from traditional techniques to modern variations. The traditional method involves simmering the fish in a flavorful kecap sauce, resulting in a tender and succulent dish. Alternative cooking methods, such as baking or frying, can also be employed, imparting distinct textures and flavors to the fish.

Traditional Simmering Method

This classic approach involves gently simmering the fish in a flavorful kecap sauce until it is cooked through. The low heat allows the flavors of the sauce to penetrate the fish, resulting in a tender and succulent dish. The cooking time may vary depending on the type of fish used, but generally, it takes around 15-20 minutes.

Alternative Cooking Methods

In addition to the traditional simmering method, alternative cooking techniques can be used to prepare fish in kicap sauce. These methods offer different textures and flavors, allowing for a more diverse culinary experience.

  • Baking: Baking the fish in a preheated oven allows for a crispy exterior and a moist and tender interior. The baking temperature typically ranges between 350°F (175°C) and 400°F (200°C), and the cooking time depends on the thickness of the fish.
  • Frying: Frying the fish in hot oil results in a crispy golden-brown exterior and a succulent interior. The oil temperature should be around 350°F (175°C) to ensure even cooking. The cooking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the fish.

Step-by-Step Recipe: Fish Kicap in Chinese Style

Embark on a culinary journey with this comprehensive step-by-step guide to creating an authentic Chinese-style fish kicap dish. This recipe blends the flavors of fish, soy sauce, and various aromatics to deliver a delightful and savory dish that is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

The key to a successful fish kicap lies in the balance of flavors and the careful selection of ingredients. With this recipe, you’ll learn the art of marinating, frying, and simmering to achieve the perfect harmony of flavors and textures.


  • Fish (such as pomfret or tilapia): 1 pound, cleaned and filleted
  • Soy sauce: 1/2 cup
  • Shaoxing wine: 1/4 cup
  • Sugar: 1/4 cup
  • Sesame oil: 1 tablespoon
  • Ginger: 1 tablespoon, minced
  • Garlic: 1 tablespoon, minced
  • Green onions: 2, chopped
  • Red chili peppers: 1-2, sliced (optional, for spiciness)
  • Vegetable oil: for frying


  1. Marinate the Fish: In a bowl, combine the fish fillets, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and green onions. Mix well to ensure the fish is evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
  2. Fry the Fish: Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the marinated fish fillets. Fry for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  3. Make the Kecap Sauce: While the fish is frying, prepare the kecap sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining marinade ingredients (soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and green onions). Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  4. Simmer the Fish in Kecap Sauce: Once the fish is fried and the kecap sauce is ready, transfer the fish fillets to the saucepan with the sauce. Gently stir to coat the fish in the sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and caramelized.
  5. Serve: Garnish the fish kicap with additional green onions and red chili peppers (if desired). Serve immediately with steamed rice or noodles.

Variations and Side Dishes

Fish kicap in Chinese style is a versatile dish that offers many opportunities for variations and side dishes. Experimenting with different ingredients and flavors can create unique and exciting versions of this classic recipe.

One popular variation is to add vegetables to the dish. Common choices include bell peppers, carrots, onions, and celery. These vegetables can be stir-fried separately or added directly to the sauce during cooking. They provide additional texture, color, and nutritional value to the dish.

Suitable Side Dishes

Fish kicap is traditionally served with steamed rice, which is a perfect complement to the flavorful sauce. Other suitable side dishes include:

  • Stir-fried vegetables: A variety of stir-fried vegetables, such as bok choy, broccoli, or snow peas, can provide a healthy and colorful accompaniment to the fish kicap.
  • Fried noodles: Fried noodles, such as chow mein or lo mein, are a popular choice for serving with fish kicap. The crispy texture of the noodles contrasts nicely with the soft and flaky fish.
  • Steamed tofu: Steamed tofu is a simple yet delicious side dish that adds a protein boost to the meal. It can be served plain or topped with a drizzle of soy sauce or chili oil.

Dietary Preferences

To accommodate different dietary preferences, the fish kicap recipe can be easily adapted. For example, gluten-free soy sauce or tamari can be used instead of regular soy sauce. Vegetarian options can be created by using tofu or tempeh instead of fish.

Presentation and Garnish

The presentation of fish kicap is crucial in enhancing its overall appeal. A well-presented dish not only pleases the eyes but also stimulates the appetite.

To create a visually appealing dish, consider the following tips:


  • Garnish the fish kicap with fresh herbs such as cilantro, basil, or scallions. These herbs add a pop of color and a refreshing aroma to the dish.
  • Add some thinly sliced vegetables like cucumber, carrots, or bell peppers. These vegetables provide a contrasting texture and color to the dish.
  • Citrus zest, such as lemon or lime zest, can brighten up the dish and add a citrusy flavor.


  • Arrange the fish kicap on a serving plate or dish in a visually appealing manner. Consider creating a centerpiece by placing the fish in the center and surrounding it with the vegetables and herbs.
  • Use different serving dishes for different components of the dish. For example, serve the fish on a platter and the sauce in a separate bowl.
  • Add some height to the dish by stacking the fish fillets or arranging them vertically.

By paying attention to presentation and garnish, you can create a dish that is both visually appealing and delicious.


As we conclude our exploration of the Fish Kicap Recipe, we are left with a profound appreciation for the culinary traditions that have shaped this iconic dish. Its versatility, affordability, and timeless appeal make it a staple in many Chinese households and restaurants worldwide.

Whether you are a seasoned chef or a home cook looking to expand your culinary repertoire, this recipe offers a delightful introduction to the wonders of Chinese cuisine. So gather your ingredients, prepare your palate, and let’s embark on a journey of flavors as we recreate this classic dish in the comfort of our own kitchens.

FAQ Section

What are some suitable side dishes to complement Fish Kicap?

Steamed rice, stir-fried vegetables like bok choy or broccoli, and fried noodles are excellent accompaniments to Fish Kicap.

Can I use a different type of fish for this recipe?

Yes, you can experiment with various firm-fleshed fish like tilapia, cod, or halibut. However, the traditional choice remains sea bass or pomfret.

How can I adjust the recipe to make it gluten-free?

To make the recipe gluten-free, use tamari sauce instead of soy sauce and ensure that the other ingredients, such as cooking oil and vinegar, are also gluten-free.

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