Velvet Fish With Mushrooms Recipe (2024)

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Two questions: If I add tofu too, what density of tofu? Soft, medium, firm? And, I love a new ingredient more than most, but will I ever use Chinese Black vinegar again? What’s it like and can I substitute or absolutely not? Thanks for an inspired and inspiring recipe!


This was incredible. I used a combo of halibut and tofu. I used fresh Shiitake mushrooms rather than dried, so sautéed them in oil until they began to brown and then added the aromatics (garlic, ginger and scallions). The only complaint I had was that the sauce was skimpy. It immediately thickens to a paste. Had to add around 1/2 cup of water to get a paste. Next time, I will double the sauce and decrease the cornstarch. Big hit with everyone in.cluding the 12 year old

Coco Pazzo

Since I don't own a wok and thus don't cook Chinese recipes at home, I was unfamiliar with the term "velveting." Here's a good explanation of the technique:


Dark soy sauce is much sweeter and thicker than regular soy sauce. By itself, dark soy sauce is too rich. the mixture of the two gives you an intermediary thickness and richness. This mixture is used in many Shanghainese and Taiwanese braises. See any recipe for "red cooking".


I love Chinese black vinegar and use it regularly even when I'm not on a Chinese cooking spree. Use it to flavor anything where you want a slight vinegary edge. Soup, stews, and of course salads. If you like a spritz of lemon on scrambled eggs or omelets, try this instead.


Black vinegar is addictive as a dumpling dip- for a quick lunch I buy pork and leek frozen dumplings and steam them in the microwave. I sometimes add a little soy sauce and/or chili oil to the dip. Also great on cucumber salad, again with soy sauce and chili oil.

My Moor

I cooked this dish 2x. We loved it so much .. restaurant quality. I used frozen tilapia . Followed recipe double sauce and used crimini mushrooms ... more garlic and ginger and more green onions. Delicious . Garnish with sliced green onions and cilantro.Served with zoodles and bean sprout .. sauteed in peanut oil .. garlic, onions, red bell pepper and spiral zucchini and bean sprouts, soy sauce. Garnish sliced green onions

R.F. Plevy

4 Servings? Not in my family. This is for one large hungry person or two moderately hungry people.

Jen Regrut

Ingredients are not “odd”, perhaps they are not white, but these are common ingredients in any Asian kitchen

Tina Chan

My Chinese parents immigrated to Canada, and we never had a wok at home, but cooked Chinese food (specifically Cantonese) food every meal with cast iron frying pans. Please don't let the lack of a wok dissuade you from trying to cook Chinese food at home! :)


Chinese black vinegar -- aka Chinkiang vinegar -- is delicious and cheap. Balsamic vinegar is the closest Western vinegar but quality Balsamic is more expensive. In a dish like this where it provides most of the flavour in the sauce I would hesitate to substitute.


Traditionally, using soft tofu is correct. It will make this a delightful dish. But soft tofu breaks easily when stir fried. If you are not used to stir frying soft tofu, use medium firm tofu, but you will not have the same effect. You can gently boil soft tofu to firm them up a little (a technique used to make Mapo Tofu with soft tofu), but they will still be fragile when stir fried.

Barbara Lachman

We love Chinese Black vinegar. It's available at any Asian food store and tastes a bit like a good balsamic. We use it sparingly in breakfast scrambled eggs, stir fries, and Chinese soups and with tofu.

Karen L Davis

Why is everyone writing about soft tofu when Sam’s lead-in instructions very clearly say firm tofu?


This is amazing!!! I made it for two with half the fish but with the full sauce recipe-it was perfect!! Worth finding all the odd ingredients at the local Asian market!!


This was really delicious. I didn't have black vinegar, so I used a substitution I've seen in other recipes: balsamic vinegar. The texture of the fish was particularly nice!


The velveting of the fish was entirely unnecessary. A simple poach would have been sufficient. Too much cornstarch for the sauce. Will not recommend. Will not make again.


Some have asked how to prevent the tofu from falling apart: steam the tofu and the fish together instead of "velveting". I carefully sliced silken tofu (the packaging says "for steaming") on a deep dish and fanned it out, and placed my fish in the middle. Steam until fish is opaque, approx 5 min. Omitted the cornflour as my family isn't fond of thickened sauces. Stir-fried the minced garlic and ginger until almost crispy before adding the sauce. Pour searing hot sauce onto steamed fish and tofu.

Ed Windels

Definitely double the sauce.

Gary Wasserman

I want to substitute potato starch for corn starch. Do I have to adjust the recipe to make this change?


After reading the notes I def would have used a dark soy sauce (all I had on hand was my usual not very special one). However, this was still a yummy dish, and the process of velveting fish is oddly very relaxing. I will try again with the proper ingredients


Underwhelmed and disappointed. I used nice, thick fresh cod loin, but in retrospect, I can think of better things to do with that gorgeous fish. Now, maybe it's because I couldn't find dark soy or Chinese black vinegar. I subbed a high quality balsamic. Otherwise, followed the recipe to the letter. Not thrilled. Oh well....


Also, I don't understand the need for velveting the fish? I know the velveting method makes for very tender chicken breast, but fish is already supple and tender, as long as you don't overcook it. So, what's the benefit here?


Made this on a Sunday night with bok choy and white rice. Not as complicated as it seems and the substitutions worked fine, the flavor was mild and savory. Velveting the fish gives it a firm and slightly chewy texture. I used one pound tilapia. I stir fried the greens in the heated pan before starting the sauce and held in a warm oven. Substitutions: fish sauce for oyster sauceRice wine vinegar for rice wineRegular soy sauce for both kinds listed Fresh mushrooms for dried


I made this as printed (tbh, I didn't have two kinds of soy sauce and just used the one I had in place of both). When I added the sauce mixture to the hot pan it immediately became a paste. I had to add about 7 tbsp of the mushroom soaking liquid. Perhaps that is why the sauce was "okay" to me. If I make again, no way will I add a full tbsp of cornstarch to the sauce. Served over longevity noodles from a local market.


Absolutely delicious! The velveting method was perfect!We used local Florida snapper and it held up beautifully. I only used 12 0z. for two but I did double the sauce as recommended by others & had to use the mushroom soaking liquid immediately as the sauce thickened in about 1 sec! But, the liquid smoothed it out and it was perfect! Served with sticky rice & Bok choy. Will def. make again!!


Help me out here - this was a fail for me so where did I go wrong? One of the problems for me is that half inch slices seems too thin and the pieces broke up with the gentlest of handling. The cornstarch in the sauce seems extremely excessive- it didn’t take 10 seconds in my skillet to become thick and unusable without significant thinning and even then came out salty and uninteresting. Was hoping for something fabulous and this turned out to be a terrible way to use an expensive fish.




I have rock fish in the is a white fish but quite firm, firmer than flounder etc. Has anyone used it for this recipe?


Very easy to make and delicious! I only had .75 lbs of flounder but I doubled the amount of sauce because I wanted more and the amount in the recipe wasn’t enough. I also didn’t have Chinese black vinegar so I substituted with apple cider vinegar. I also added a bit of red pepper flakes on top!

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Velvet Fish With Mushrooms Recipe (2024)
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