For its special taste and cooking method, beer fish is one of the most famous dishes in Yangshuo. It's made with a fish from one of the local rivers in a blend of spices, herbs, tomato, celery, mushrooms and of course, beer.
It is said that this special local dish was discovered by chance. When tourism started in the 1980's, there were few hotels and restaurants in Yangshuo and facilities were very basic. So most of the tourists wouldn't stay in Yangshuo when they came off the Li River cruise, but were bussed back to Guilin. Usually, the bus drivers had their meals nearby the river. One day, a driver saw the fish getting burnt in the pan and he quickly poured his bottle of beer into the pan without thinking. Everybody thought the dish must be wasted and couldn't be eaten, but to their surprise, it was so fragrant and soft. From then on, the beer fish dish was on the menu and became very popular.
This dish can be made with any kind of fish from the local rivers, but is best with a carp, because the carp is fat but not greasy. First, gut the fish, but do not scrape off the scales; Second, put some soy sauce on it and then fry it with ginger and garlic till the scale turns yellow; Then put some tomato, green pepper, celery, mushroom, sour pepper and oyster sauce into the pan. Of course, don't forget the most important thing: beer! Beerfish is a specialty of the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat restaurant and is popular with foreign guests.