Lunchbreak: Ginger Szchuan Fish

Chef Ian Voakes, of 3 Squares Diner

Located at the Historic Lawrence House, 1020 W. Lawrence Ave, Chicago


3 Squares Ginger Szchuan Fish

 Great Lakes White Fish, 2ea Filet with skin on, pin bones removed and descaled

 Szchuan Broth

Shallots,  3

Garlic, 1/2 head, whole cloves smashed

Ginger, peeled & smashed (aprox. 1 thumb)

Duck Stock, ½ quart

Cilantro, 1/2 bushel/bunch, stems and leaves

Lemongrass, 1 ea, smashed

Vegetable Stock, 1 quart

Szchuan Peppercorns, 3 tablespoons, whole

Coriander Seeds, 1/2 teaspoon, toasted

Cinnamon Stick 1ea, whole

Star Anise Pod 1ea, whole

Combine all in stock pot and simmer for 45 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and strain to remove solids.


Sea Island White Rice Pea-Produced by Anson Mills in South Carolina or Substitute with Black Eyed Peas          

Sea Island White Rice Pea, 1 Cup

Vegetable Stock, 3 Cups

Salt, To Taste

Rinse and pick through dry Island Rice Pea, be sure to look for any stones that can make their way through.

 Sea Island rice pea instructions:

Combine Sea Island Rice Pea and stock in pot and bring to a simmer.

Simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the peas are al dente.

Strain remaining liquid, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve immediately.


Recipe continued.....

1/4 Bulb of fennel, julienned (roasted)

1/4 C Daikon, diced (roasted)

1 each Scallion, julienned (leave raw)

1 each Radish, julienned (leave raw)

Sesame Seeds, toasted to taste

Chili Oil, to taste (this is drizzled on top at the end)

Rice Vinegar, to taste


Remove fish from the cooler and pat dry with paper towel, especially the skin.

Season both sides of fish with salt and let rest at room temperature while you roast vegetables and assemble rest of dish.


Layer ¼ cup of fennel and ¼ cup daikon together on baking sheet. Season with salt and oil.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.


Warm ½ cup broth slowly with 2 tablespoons of the island rice peas or black eyed peas in a sauce pot.


Use a stainless steel saute pan and put on medium high heat and get it hot.

Add 2 tablespoons of butter and immediately add fish to hot pan.

Press gently on fish for 30-45 seconds so the entire surface area of skin is touching the pan.

Allow fish to cook skin side down for 3-4 minutes or until the skin releases itself from the pan.

Flip fish and immediately remove from pan to rest.

 Assemble your meal:

First pour Szchuan broth (prepared earlier) and island peas or black eyed peas into your bowl.

Next add the roasted vegetables.

Then the fish, skin side up.

Make a small salad with scallions, radish and sesame seeds. Season with rice wine vinegar and top the fish.

Lastly, drizzle chili oil over top and enjoy.

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