Mala Grilled Fish

Cuisine: Chong Qing, China   |   Prep Time: 20 minutes  |  Cook Time: 40 minutes   |   Serve: 2 to 3 persons

Mala Grilled Fish – origins Chong Qing, China. Famously made with the spicy and numbing Szechuan peppercorn. Mala has been around for some time now and I got introduced to this dish by my husband who is addicted to it! During this #stayathome period we couldn’t enjoy it in a restaurant, so to fulfil his cravings I’ve made my own homemade Mala Grilled Fish or some may call it Chong Qing Grilled Fish.

It’s spicy, numbing and fragrant, you’ll be hooked!



Seabass (or any preferred fish)

3 clove garlic

Mala paste (half a pack)



Szechuan pepper grounded (optional) / Chili powder

Optional ingredients (You can add any ingredient to this dish)

Slice Radish

Quail Egg

Enoki mushroom


Green onion


  1. Finely chop garlic and chop green onion into 1 to 2 inch pieces for garnishing.
  2. Prepare the fish by removing the gills and guts. To butterfly the fish, cut through the stomach down to the backbone. Be careful not to cut all the way through.
  3. Thoroughly wash the fish under running water and to pat dry any excess water.
  4. Layer aluminium foil/ baking sheet over an oven tray, for easier cleaning (this step is optional). Oil your oven rack and to put over the oven tray.
  5. Place the fish over the oven rack (stomach facing down), then sprinkle salt, Szechuan pepper and oil. Rub in the marinate.
  6. Preheat oven to 200°C and cook the fish 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of your fish. Keep an eye to avoid burning the fish.
  7. Prepare your base and over a deep pan fry the chopped garlic and green onion stem.
  8. Once the garlic turns slightly brown, put in the mala paste and fry until fragrant.
  9. Add in the other ingredients of your choice (radish, quail egg, enoki mushroom, etc.) and base it on the bottom to alleviate the fish later. Leave it to cook for about 5 minutes or until it the ingredient is fully cooked.
  10. Put in the fish, garnish and serve over a hot pot! Enjoy!

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