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General Tsos Snakehead

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Posted this in a local forum after catching quite a few snakeheads this summer and thought some here might be interested in it. Works with any fish or chicken and one of my favorite recipes.



So after catching a snakehead last night I finally decided to nut up and eat one. I decided to do an Asian inspired recipe to pay homage to the snakehead and made General Tso's Snakehead. The basic steps to the recipe are:

1. Prep the Fish

2. Prep the sauce

3. Prep the vegetables

4. Fry the fish

5. Mix the fish with the sauce and vegetables


I'll try to do it with pictures if anyone is interested in making it.

First I cut the snakehead into 1" pieces and decided to soak the pieces in buttermilk (in this case 1 cup of whole milk with 3tbsp of vinegar) to take out any funky flavors but keep the freshness of the fish.




While the fish soaked I prepped the vegetables and the sauce. The vegetables I used were 1/4 of an onion diced, 1/4 of a green pepper sliced, 4 cloves of garlic minced, and I would've used ginger root but mine was frozen so I used the powdered stuff instead. You could add broccoli or any number of vegetables here. Also, if you want to spice it up with a habanero or scotch bonnet pepper now is the time to dice those. I used an incredibly spicy but neutral hot sauce added towards the end.




For the sauce you need:

1/4 cup chicken stock

1tbsp hoisin sauce

1tbsp fish sauce

1tbsp soy sauce

1tbsp cornstarch

2tbsp honey

2tbsp vinegar


Just mix them all together and set aside. If you don't have all these ingredients you can make easy substitutions. I'll go over those if anyone wants to know them.




Next is the part that everyone is familiar with, lightly breading and frying the fish. I put the fish in a egg wash with 1 egg, 2tbsp sugar, 2tbsp garlic powder, and 2tbsp of fish sauce. I then heat the oil, throw all the pieces in the flour and fry in two batches. You don't have to use a wok like I used for this and I'm sure everyone can figure out how to fry some fish nuggets. One note, if you're going to do more then two batches then hold off on throwing all the pieces in the flour. Your breading could come out kind of gummy if the fish sits in the flour too long.



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Now back to the sauce. I use a small saucepan and like to reduce the sauce just a bit before moving on. It will bubble and start to get thick but not too thick yet! It has a lot of sugars in it and this happens quickly over med-high heat. Watch it or it will be a burnt caramel.




Once it is this consistency remove from the heat.


p><p>  Now add two tbsp of oil to another wok or pan and sautee your vegetables. Hold the garlic and tbsp of ginger for a couple minutes until the other items start to soften a bit and then add them so they don


http://img842.imageshack.us/img842/8288/dscn2082i.jpg' alt='dscn2082i.jpg'>

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Things from here start to move quickly so make sure the fish and the sauce are nearby. After the vegetables are close to the doneness you like then quickly add the sauce and turn the heat up to high.




Constantly stir things up to keep them from burning.


p><p>  As soon as the last piece of fish hits the pan turn off the heat and continue stirring. Once the pieces are coated evenly (only takes a minute or so) you




We served with fried rice made with carrots, mushrooms, peas, onions, and two eggs.


http://img854.imageshack.us/img854/922/dscn2092c.jpg' alt='dscn2092c.jpg'>


Delicious! I am now a snakehead convert. This recipe doesn't mask the tast of the fish and the consistency was perfect! The hardest part is finding a fish firm and flavorful enough to go well with the other spices. Next recipe, Snakehead Thai Green Curry.

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Uh, where are you catching snakeheads like that with regularity? Second, nice Shun knife you have there-the blades are fragile, but when sharp, they can split an atom. lastly, nice job on the prep....lookds very tasty

Just imagine how happy you would be if you lost everything you have in life and then suddenly got it back
SOL Member #101

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Thanks for the comments, the knife is awesome. It was a christmas present 4 years ago and really hasn't lost any of it's atom splitting sharpness. Also, I'm in the DC area and Snakeheads here are quite regular now. Luckily it doesn't seem to be hurting any of the other fish populations and they're actually an excellent gamefish, fun to catch. In Virginia you're not even required to kill them anymore. I believe Maryland has different rules though.

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Very nice job -looks VERY tasty!

"My mind is aglow with whirling, transient nodes of thought careening through a cosmic vapor of invention."
Hedley Lamar
"It wasn't the bullet that laid him to rest, was the low spark of high-heeled boys"
Jim Capaldi & Steve Winwood

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you didn't miss the sauce! I didn't add that I just figured people would add it if they wanted to. I used "West African Voodoo Juice". In the past I've also used a drop or two of capsicum, or spicy chili oil made by taking 3tbsp of redpepper flakes and slowly sweating them in ~1/4 cup of oil then removing the flakes (don't recommend this), and various other sauces to add just heat without killing the flavor. The best is by far just using chopped chiles and adding them with the onions.


I wasn't fishing Dogue Creek this time but I have and it's a really good spot! Mattawoman Creek are all good places. As a rule I generally head further south as the weather heats up. Pohick Bay park has been awesome this year. Jrhjr send me a PM if you want to go out sometime, I take the kayak to get to the areas where they are thickest.


It is the same sauce you use with pork or chicken and there are very slight modifications to make "Sesame Chicken/Pork/Fish"

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  • 3 weeks later...

nice post and recipe! looks good, going to have to try that next time with striper or flounder.


I'm in the DC area as well, I have tried fishing for snakeheads near the 495 woodrow wilson bridge, and 4miles run with no luck.

tried using different baits as well (chatter bait, rabbit frog, swim bait) with no luck


Where on the potomac do you fish? any hints and tips on what baits and techniques to use would be appreciated!

if you don't want to spot burn, you can PM me, thanks alot!

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