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Fish-fragrant eggplants, a typical Sichuan dish

Yuxiang (simplified Chinese: 鱼香; traditional Chinese: 魚香; pinyin: yú xiāng; literally: "fish fragrance") is a seasoning mixture in Chinese cuisine, and also refers to the resulting sauce in which meat or vegetables are cooked. It is said to have originated in Sichuan cuisine, but has since spread to other regional Chinese cuisines. The technique of sauteeing the combined base ingredients of garlic, scallions and ginger is sometimes compared with the French mirepoix.[citation needed]

On top of the basic mixture, cooking yuxiang almost always includes the use of sugar, salt, doubanjiang, soy sauce, and chili peppers.[1]


Proper preparation of the yuxiang seasoning includes finely minced pao la jiao, (pickled chili) white scallion, ginger and garlic. They are mixed in more or less equal portions, though some prefer to include more scallions than ginger and garlic. The mixture is then fried in oil till fragrant, then adding water, starch, sugar and vinegar to create the basic sauce.


Despite the term literally meaning "fish fragrance" in Chinese, yuxiang contains no seafood, is typically not used in seafood, but rather for dishes often containing beef, pork, or chicken, as well as vegetarian recipes. In fact, Barbara Tropp suggests in The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking that the characters can also be interpreted as meaning "Szechwan-Hunan" flavor. Dishes that use yuxiang as the main seasoning have the term affixed to their name. For instance:

  • Yuxiang rousi (魚香肉絲): Pork strips stir-fried with yuxiang
  • Yuxiang qiezi (魚香茄子): Braised eggplants with yuxiang
  • Yuxiang niunan (魚香牛腩): Beef brisket stewed with yuxiang