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Tasty Chongqing: Int'l Students Learn to Cook Famous Qijiang Dishes

By HU HUI|Mar 24,2024

Spicy fish, pickled fish, tomato fish, and more... Which fish do you like to eat? On March 20, at the special event of Perception of Chongqing: Tasty Chongqing held in Qijiang District, international students learned how to cook Beidu fish, which is a famous Chinese dish in Qijiang District, Chongqing.

Varied ways to cook Beidu fish

International students from Lao were tasting the Beidu Fish. (Photo/CINC)

In 1998, Beidu fish became popular all over China and was later recognized as a famous Chinese dish and included in the national recipe. Nowadays, Qijiang Beidu Fish Restaurants has opened in many cities across China and has become a representative business card of Qijiang’s culinary culture.

Yuan Xiaowei, president of the Qijiang District Catering Association, said, "Qijiang Beidu Fish" originates from Beidu Chang, Qijiang District. The fish in this section of the river are plump and tender. Regarding the process of making Beidu Fish, live fish are swiftly cleaned, seasoned with plenty of chili, Sichuan peppercorn, garlic, and other special spices, then cooked over a traditional stove. Once ready, it is served in a large bowl with boiling oil. After finishing the fish, vegetables are added, making it both refreshing and economical. Since people enjoy eating fish at Beidu, they named it "Qijiang Beidu Fish."

Later, the fish cooking method was innovated. The way Beidu Fish is cooked evolved, giving rise to a variety of dishes like "Spicy Fish," "Sour and Spicy Fish," "Tomato Fish," and "Fish Head Wonton," making up the main menu of Qijiang Beidu Fish, where one fish can be enjoyed in multiple ways. 

"It smells so good!" "It looks delicious!" Listening to Yuan Xiaowei's introduction, two Lao international students from Chongqing Electronic Engineering Vocational College said they were more curious about the Beidou fish. After tasting the fish, they gave a thumbs up and said, "Beidu fish is a delicacy in the world!"

Learning to cook Chinese food

"Beidu fish is mainly made from grass carp or silver carp. If you want to make this fish well, you must not only control the heat, but early marinating is also crucial." Chef Tan Guoyong, a senior cook, introduced and taught the fish-making technique.

International students learned to cook Beidu Fish. (Photo/CINC)

"What we chose today is ecological grass carp. Add salt, ginger, green onion, cooking wine, etc. into the fish fillets, mix well, marinate for two minutes, and then clean..." Listening to the chef's introduction, the international students began to cook fish with the chef.

Variety of flavors of Beidu fish. (Photo/CINC)

"My mouth is watering!" After the spicy fish was finished, the international students said it smelled delicious and looked very appetizing. They picked up a piece of fish and tasted it. It was spicy, fragrant, and a little numb. "I have never cooked since I came to Chongqing. This is my first time to learn how to cook Chongqing cuisine. I am really happy."


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