During a recent visit to Tipsy Shanghai in Hell’s Kitchen, which is known for its century-old recipes, we came across West Lake Fish.
According to legend and varying interpretations, there were two fisherman brothers living near West Lake in Hangzhou, China in the Song Dynasty. A local villain spotted the older brother’s beautiful wife. The villain killed the older brother and framed the younger one for his murder. The wife of the older brother then urged the younger sibling to flee. As a result they both suffered a sweet and sour life which led to the creation of this sweet and sour fish.
The dish is traditionally made with a whole lake carp in a sauce made of fish stock, chopped ginger, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and vinegar. Eating West Lake Fish at Tipsy Shanghai is a true NYC adventure, and now you know the legend behind it.