One of the most standout cultural favorites to come out of the county of Yangshou in the 1980’s is simply a dish known as Beer Fish that combines traditional Chinese flavors with Western influences. The most iconic version of this delicacy is the Beer Lijiang River Fish. From the Chinese influence side, it requires a fresh Li River common carp or grass carp as the raw ingredients. Beer, traditionally a very Western drink, is used as the main flavoring. The brave addition of beer to the fish is what gives birth the popular Guilin local dish its characteristic flavor.
Simply stated, about 1 bottle of beer is used to marinate 1 whole fish. Then chicken stock is added, as well as a variety of soy sauces, a bit of oyster sauce, some ginger to release the “fishy” taste, garlic, onion, some chili for a kick, and a handful of vegetables to steam with it. Accompanied with a generous bowl of rice, Beer Fish makes a beloved meal.
These days, the popularity of Beer Fish has spread into many areas of China. Not only that, its beer flavor makes it pleasant to visitors from all over the world and it wins applause from taste buds everywhere.