Mar 25, 2023

Seared Hairtail Fish Rolls with Asian Seasonings

Hairtail fish rolls has become a popular ingredient especially over the past year in Taiwan. Not sure if such product is available in other countries, but you can find frozen hairtail fish rolls in all major market here. Of course, you can always get the fillet version and roll it up yourself, shouldn't be too hard to manage.

I suppose its increasing popularity partly has to do with the invention of air fryer. The air fried fish rolls gets a delicious crunch on all sides, and they are a boneless bunch too. Parents feel safe to serve it to their children, I even see bento chain stores start serving hairtail fish rolls as one of the mains too, among other common items such as fried pork chop and braised chicken leg.

Seared hairtail fish rolls with Asian seasonings 香煎白帶魚捲佐辛香醬料 - 

Hairtail fish rolls with Asian seasonings


  • 8 hairtail fish roll
  • 3 tablespoons preferred cooking oil
  • 2 to 3 garlic clove
  • 1 to 2 red chili
  • 1 stalk scallion


  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon black vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese rice cooking wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar


Use paper towel to pat dry the hairtail fish rolls, perhaps give it a gentle squeeze to draw out the moisture trapped in the center. Take a toothpick and pierce through to help holding up the shape while searing. 

Piercing through hairtail fish rolls

If you can find the end of the fish roll, try to start piercing from there to the opposite side. 

Mix together all the ingredients listed under the "sauce" section. Whisk till nearly all the sugar has been fully dissolved. 

Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Destem the red chilies, also remove the seeds if you can't take too much heat. Destem and chop the scallion.

Chopping the Asian aromatics

Take a non-stick pan, drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil, I used olive oil here. Switch to medium heat and wait till the oil gets warm. Transfer the fish rolls over one by one. Sear till the bottom turns golden brown.

Searing hairtail fish rolls

Flip and continue to sear the other side till golden brown again. Once ready, plate and remove the toothpicks.

Seared hairtail fish rolls

Still using the same pan, drizzle more oil if needed. We need enough oil to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. I actually added one more tablespoon here.

Add in all the chopped garlics, chilies, and scallion. Stir-fry till the color turns slightly browned but not burnt.

Searing the Asian aromatics

Pour over the sauce mixture and keep it at a light bubbling stage. Cook a little bit longer till the sauce has reduced just a wee bit. Pour the sauce all over the fish rolls and ready to serve.

Hairtail fish rolls with Asian seasonings

I truly enjoy the crunchy top and bottom from the seared fish rolls, not mentioning the savory and aromatic seasonings to eat along with. The best part to me? I don't have to worry about the bones at all, that's really a great news for someone who's having a hard time eating fish with bones.

Hairtail fish rolls with Asian seasonings

If you have an air fryer at home, use it to prep the fish rolls. You can actually get the crunchy coating all around, which is even better compared to the pan-searing method. 

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Mar 20, 2023

Tomato Bamboo Shoot and Pork Zosui 番茄竹筍豬肉雜炊

I have a tendency to cook a ton of food at once. What I'll usually do is store all the dishes into individual bento boxes. While this might not be the optimal way to prep family meals, but for sure saves a lot of time and cleaning work after a long day.

So you'll probably notice that this zosui recipe can easily feed a family of 6 and more. If that's too much for you, simply divide all the ingredients used by half.

Tomato bamboo shoot and pork zosui 番茄竹筍豬肉雜炊 - 

Tomato bamboo shoot and pork zosui

Ingredients (about 6 to 8 portions)?

  • 3 ripe tomato
  • 300 grams/2 to 3 chunks cooked and peeled bamboo shoot
  • 16 to 20 slices pork belly
  • 1 small pack shimeji mushroom
  • 1 small bundle cilantro
  • 3 rice measuring cups short grain white rice
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon preferred cooking oil
  • Some salt
  • Some white pepper powder



Use rice measuring cups instead of regular measuring cups, cook the white rice first. Once ready, fluff the rice and set aside for later use. Leftover rice works well too.

I got the already cooked and peeled bamboo shoots. If you can't find the prepped version, simply cook the bamboo shoots ahead of time and slice to strips.

Bamboo shoot strips

Trim-off shimeji mushroom stem and separate to strips. Scrape-off the ginger skin and give it a fine chop. Finely chop the cilantro. Chop the tomatoes. There is no need to pre-cook and peel away the tomato skin for this zosui recipe.

Bring out a big pot. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil and turn to medium heat. Once the oil gets warm, add in tomatoes and chopped ginger. Give it a quick mix and stir-fry for couple minutes.

Stir-frying chopped tomatoes and ginger

Add in bamboo shoot and shimeji mushroom, mix and cook for a minute.

Making tomato and bamboo shoot zosui

Pour in 5 cups of chicken stock and 3 cups of hot water. Also pour in all the cooked rice. Mix and make sure the rice are separated. 

Making tomato bamboo shoot zosui

Bring the entire thing to a boil then lower the heat to keep it at a light bubbling stage. Continue to cook till the texture starts to thicken slightly. 

Add in pork belly slices one by one. Wait till fully cooked through.

Making tomato and bamboo shoot zosui

Taste and adjust. I added 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of white pepper powder here. Mix and cook for a big longer. Check on the consistency too. Add more stock or hot water if you prefer soupy zosui.

Mix in chopped cilantro in the end. Mix and cook for one more minute.

Scoop and serve.

Tomato bamboo shoot and pork zosui

Remember that the rice will continue to absorb the liquid even after you remove the entire pot from the stove. So the texture can turn thicker as time goes by. No worries, you can always add more stock or hot water while heating up any leftover in the future.

The crunch from the bamboo shoot is key here. It adds character and a refreshing bite to the zosui. If you can't find bamboo shoot, I suppose trimmed bean sprouts can provide similar effect. Keep in mind that for bean sprouts, add them towards the end, preferably after pork slices has been cooked through.

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