Oct 4, 2020

Taiwanese Style Tuna Belly Quick Stir-Fry with Chinese Basil

What's your first impression when seeing tuna belly on the shopping list? Perhaps something expensive like the kind you see at a sushi joint? Don't worry, it's not exactly the same as sushi-grade tuna belly. In fact, it's actually not costly at all since this piece of meat comes with a thin chewy layer and perhaps one or two bones. Once fully cooked, the texture might even resemble chicken breast, which is completely different than the melt in your mouth tuna belly served from a sushi chef. Give it a try if you find such part of meat at a grocery store, otherwise substitute with swordfish fillet.

Taiwanese style tuna belly quick stir-fry with Chinese basil -


  • 325 grams tuna belly
  • 1/2 loosely packed cup Chinese basil
  • Few extra Chinese basil (for garnish)
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 slices ginger
  • 1 to 2 red chilies
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Few splashes Chinese rice cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


Take a small piece of ginger, scrape off the skin then slice, about 1mm thickness. Peel and roughly chop the garlic cloves. Destem then section the scallion. Destem the red chilies then cut into few pieces diagonally. Save a few fresh Chinese basil for garnish, then roughly chop the remaining leafy portion. 

Prep the fish into bite size chunks, I actually cut them into rectangular shaped pieces, about 2mm thickness. Also remove any fish bones if present. Remove that thin chewy layer if possible, but not necessary. 

Drizzle some olive oil to the wok and turn to high heat. Once the oil warms up, add in the fish and sear till nearly cooked through and slightly colored on both sides. Scoop out and set aside for later use.

Use the same wok, which should still have some oil left, bring up the temperature again and add in garlic, scallion, ginger, and red chilies. Give it a quick stir-fry till aromatic but not burning the garlic pieces.

Pour in 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, and few splashes of Chinese rice cooking wine.

Give it a quick mix, shouldn't take long, less than 10 seconds if using very high heat. Transfer the fish back to the wok and cook till the sauce nearly dried up. Add in chopped Chinese basil then give it a quick mix. Just to release the aroma with the heat from the wok, shouldn't take long here also.

Plate and garnish with fresh Chinese basil that we saved earlier.

This recipe should be ready in merely few minutes, especially for a Chinese quick stir-fry. Make sure to prep all the ingredients first so you can easily steer your way through within such short time frame.

Pay extra attention once pouring in the sauce, it'll dry up very fast. If you can't catch up with the heat, a little compromise is fine by lowering the fire power. It's always a better option not to burn your food.

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