Song Shu Gui Yu, or Whole Mandarin Fish

Dini's Kosher Restaurant

Dini's has gone the way of fins and scales for the Nine Days. Minette Ramia, manager of the Beijing eatery, says their song shu gui yu, or "Whole Mandarin Fish" is one of their signature dishes. Made with Chinese perch, which is traditionally prepared soaked in tea, this recipe favors an utterly simple sweet and sour treatment for the delicate white-fleshed fish.


Whole Chinese perch
Neutral cooking oil, such as canola, for frying
Corn starch for dredging
One jar of tomato sauce
Diced pineapple
Diced bell pepper
Sugar to taste
Salt to taste


Remove the fins from the fish along with its spine bone, leaving the scales, head and tail intact. Chinese chefs traditionally use a special technique to cut the fish, but a standard butterfly will suffice. Roll the fish in corn starch and place gently into the 170-degree Celsius oil. Once cooked – the meat will be slightly translucent – remove from the pan and place on a serving dish.

Turn down the heat and reduce tomato sauce, with added sugar and salt, to a glaze consistency.

Pour the finished sauce over the fish and garnish with fresh coriander, diced bell pepper and pineapple.