Cantonese fried fish with cream corn is a restaurant classic that's easy to replicate at home! This dish consists of crispy pieces of fried white fish smothered in a savory, naturally sweet corn sauce that's served over a bed of warm, white rice. I know this combination might sound odd to anyone who's never tried it before, but I promise it's delicious and worth a try 🙂
Growing up, this was one of my absolute favorite comfort dishes. I'd ask my mom to order it every time we went out to a Chinese restaurant. Since we didn't go out often, I started asking my mom to make this at home, and it's been a nostalgic favorite since!
Follow the tips below to make sure you get the right kind of fish and corn for this dish!
What type of fish to use for Cantonese fried fish with cream corn
For this dish, you'll want to use a white fish. Basa (aka swai) fish filets are a great option because they're relatively cheap, usually sold as boneless filets, and taste great fried. If you can't find those, cod also works!
How to prepare the fish
I like to slice the filet in half lengthwise first, then into 2-3 inch pieces on a bias (diagonal). Slicing it this way creates more surface area for a crispy crust!
What type corn to use for Cantonese fried fish with cream corn
My favorite canned corn to use for this dish is Del Monte's Sweet Corn Cream Style, ideally with no salt added so that you can adjust the salt to your own preferences. This product actually has no dairy, and the "cream" is from the juice in the cobs of corn.
If you can't find this type of canned corn, you can use canned corn kernels, frozen corn, or fresh corn. To make the "cream", just add a bit more chicken broth during cooking and a touch more cornstarch slurry to thicken. If you're using fresh corn, you can scrape at the corn cob to release more juices.
Tips to get the crispiest fried fish
Preheat the pan and oil to 350F for the first fry
To ensure the fish doesn't stick to the pan, preheat the pan on medium heat, and then add the oil. Get the oil up to 350F for the first fry. If you don't have a thermometer, you'll know the oil is ready when it rapidly bubbles around a wooden chopstick.
For the first fry, you'll want to fry each side for ~2 min, or until a light blond crispy crust forms. Make sure to place the pieces of fish in a single layer without them touching because they can stick to each other during frying. Once they reach the light blond color, remove from the pan and place on a wire rack.
A wire rack is recommended to allow air flow as the fried food rests. This makes sure it stays crispy! If it sits on a plate or flat surface, the bottom could get soggy from the residual oil.
Double fry at 375-400F for the crispiest fish
After the first fry, heat up the oil to 375-400F for the second fry. This step will really solidify the crispy crust! If you don't have a thermometer, just wait 1-2 minutes before frying again.
For the second fry, fry each side for 30-60 seconds or until they develop a golden brown crust. Once it reaches that color, remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to rest.
If you like Cantonese fried fish with cream corn, you might also like...
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Cantonese Fried Fish with Cream Corn
for the fish
- 8-10 oz white fish I’m using basa/swai filets, cod also works!
- 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- dash of white pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
cream corn sauce
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small shallot minced (optional)
- 1 can sweet corn cream style ideally no salt added version
- ½ cup low sodium chicken broth or water + chicken bouillon
- ½ teaspoon salt use less if not using low sodium chicken broth, or cream corn with salt added
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon powder optional
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon room temp water
- 1 stalk scallions
- neutral oil for frying and cooking
Prepare the fish and aromatics
- Slice the fish on a bias (diagonal) and into 3 inch pieces. Doing it this way will give you more surface area for the crispy coating!8-10 oz white fish
- Season the fish with Shaoxing wine, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and ⅓ of a beaten egg. Save the rest of the beaten egg for the cream corn sauce.1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine, ⅛ teaspoon salt, dash of white pepper, ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 large egg
- While that marinates, prepare the garlic (minced) and shallots (minced), if using.2-3 cloves garlic, 1 small shallot
- Coat the pieces of fish in cornstarch and shake off any excess.⅓ cup cornstarch
Make the cream corn sauce
- Heat up a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon of neutral oil. Add garlic and shallots, and saute for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.2-3 cloves garlic, 1 small shallot, neutral oil for frying and cooking
- Add the full can of sweet corn cream style, chicken broth, and seasonings. Add salt to taste! I'm using low sodium chicken broth + no salt added cream corn, so I used ½ teaspoon of salt. Add a bit of salt until it reaches your preference.1 can sweet corn cream style, ½ cup low sodium chicken broth, ½ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon white pepper, ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
- Bring the sauce up to a simmer. While you wait, mix together the cornstarch slurry in a separate bowl.1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1 tablespoon room temp water
- Once the sauce comes to a light simmer, pour in the cornstarch slurry and mix until it thickens slightly. Pour in the rest of the beaten egg from earlier, while stirring slowly in one direction. This should create ribbons of egg in the sauce.1 large egg
- Turn the heat off, and garnish with sesame oil and scallions. Put a lid on the pan to keep it warm while you fry the fish.½ teaspoon sesame oil, 1 stalk scallions
Fry the fish
- Heat up a wide pan on medium heat. Once hot, add enough neutral oil to completely cover the bottom of the pan (about ½ inch in height). These instructions are for shallow-frying, but you can also choose to deep fry this!neutral oil for frying and cooking
- Heat up the oil to 350F (or until the oil bubbles around a chopstick). Carefully add the cornstarch-coated fish into the oil in a single layer, making sure they don't touch.
- Fry each side for ~2 min, or until they form a light blond crust. Remove onto a wire rack. Heat up the oil to 375F-400F. This should take a minute or two.
- Carefully add the fish back into the oil for the double fry. Fry each side for 30-60 seconds or until they form a light golden brown crust. Remove on a wire rack to let rest.
- Enjoy the fried fish and cream corn sauce on rice!