Where to go for great Szechaun Water Boiled Fish (水煮魚)?


I was wondering if anyone had a recommendation for great Szechaun Spicy Water Boiled Fish (水煮魚)? (I think that’s the right kanji if Google didn’t fail me LOL.)

Also is it better to get this Water Boiled Fish with a Whole / Fresh Fish? Or just Fish Filets?

Paging @ipsedixit @TonyC @J_L @Porthos @chandavkl and all the experts. :slight_smile:


Personally, I just do the filets.

Cuz when you order a whole fish, unless you want to look like the Joker after a bad morning in front of the makeup mirror, getting down and dirty with fish head, fish tail, and all points in between is just so fucking messy.


There are so many to choose from.
For the standard “red-oil” Spicy City is hard to beat.
For the trendier “green-oil” Sichuan Impression will numb you up right.
Photos Lifted from Yelpers

1 Like

Hi @ipsedixit,

LOLOL. :smile: OK, good point. Especially since it’d be red with chilies. :slight_smile:

What are your favorite renditions then?

Thanks @CiaoBob. Green Oil sounds interesting as well.

I like the green better than the red. The “pain” doesn’t linger as long but the numbness will last…

the trick is to plate those portions of the fish separately to have a go at the tail meat, cheek,meat, eyeballs and meat around the lips, which is typically among the tastiest morsels.

or wear a bib.

1 Like

Just had Chengdu Taste’s last night. Yummy as always.


Yunnan Garden HH is my “King of Pain”


Got me on HH?

My apology…Hacienda Heights :grin:

Filets are better. I actually haven’t seen whole fish cooked that way. Regardless, most people don’t know how to remove the meat from the bones properly–leads to waste and a lot of mess.

The best whole fish version I had in the US was at New Chong Qing.
I still miss that place - they had several dishes I have never found the equal of:
–One was the whole fish MaLa
–One was lamb ribs fried with sichuan peppercorns.
–One was a definitive Dan Dan Mein.
It really deteriorated then went out of business.
here’s an old ch thread

1 Like

Thanks @raytamsgv. Do you have any favorite restaurants for recommendation for this dish?

Not really. I haven’t had this dish in enough places to be able to do a reliable recommendation.

With the caveat that I haven’t had it there for a bit, Shu Feng Yuan in Rowland Heights also does/did a good version of water boiled fish and the Yunnan(s) - HH, MPK, SG - are solid. Other recs here, Spicy City, Szechuan Impression and Chengdu Taste are all worthy.

1 Like

I used to love that place. They were cranking out good stuff back before the Szechuan explosion. Their cold dishes were great.

I haven’t been back myself in a while but noticed that they were still open when I was at Chengdu Taste RH last week.


Does any place on the Westside make water boiled fish?

Meizhou Dongpo

Ask them to make their “water boiled beef” with fish.

But, honestly, if it were me, I’d rather have Lutefisk drowned in Sriracha.

1 Like

That’s quite an endorsement. :thinking:

I only wish bib wearing was acceptable! I would take one everywhere!