Fish with Rainbow Vegetables

Fresh fish takes on added dimensions when served with colourful vegetables, as in this ‘rainbow’ effect.

Once the fish has been velveted, it takes literally minutes to complete the preparations. You may substitute other vegetables, but the basic principle is the same – velvet the fish to keep it moist and silky. The rest of the dish is quickly assembled in the wok and an elegant meal of fresh fish with colourful vegetables is the result. Serve this with a rice dish and another vegetable dish for a wholesome, complete and tasty meal.


  • 50 g (2 oz) Chinese dried mushrooms
  • 450 g (1 lb) fresh firm white fish, such as sea bass, halibut or cod
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 100 g (4 oz) mangetout
  • 100 g (4 oz) carrots
  • 600 ml (1 pint) groundnut oil or water
  • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh root ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chilli bean sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rock sugar or plain sugar
  • 6 tablespoons water


Soak the mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes, then drain them and squeeze out the excess liquid. Remove and discard the stems and finely shred the caps into thin strips.

Cut the fish into 5-cm (2-in) pieces and combine them with the egg white, cornflour, salt and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Mix well and chill for 20 minutes.

Trim the mangetout and leave whole. Cut the carrots on the diagonal into 3-mm (-in) thick slices. Blanch the carrots for 3 minutes in a large pan of boiling salted water. Drain, refresh in cold water and set aside.

Heat a wok until it is very hot and then add the oil. When the oil is very hot, remove the wok from the heat and immediately add the fish, stirring vigorously to keep the pieces from sticking. When the fish pieces turn white (about 2 minutes), quickly drain them.

If you choose to use water instead of oil, bring it to a boil in a pan. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add the fish pieces, stirring vigorously to keep them from sticking. When the fish pieces turn white about 2 minutes), quickly drain them.

Wipe the wok clean and re-heat over a high heat. When it is hot, add the 1 tablespoon of oil, the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 20 seconds. Then add the mushrooms, mangetout and carrots and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Now add the fish pieces and heat through. Stir several times and serve at once.