How to Cook Hooligan Fish

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Hooligan fish are a bit different from other fish as they are found in Pacific rivers. This fish is also known as ‘candlefish’ or ‘oolichan.’ Not sure how to cook hooligan fish? This guide is here for you.

Today, you will learn different ways to cook hooligan fish, new and delicious recipes to impress your guests.

How to Cook Hooligan Fish With a Variety of Dishes

Hooligan fish is very easy to handle with a unique triangular shape. It is convenient to dust it off with flour and fry them in oil if you’re on a diet or for a low-carb meal. This fish gets crispy from both sides quickly while the meat inside remains tender and juicy.

Delicious grilled hooligan fish outside

Follow the recipes listed below to delight your taste buds:

  • Baked fish with steamed rice
  • Crispy fried smelt fish with marinara sauce
  • Smoked fish with grilled veggies
  • Restaurant-style fish finger
  • Chinese fish curry
  • Roasted homemade fish masala powder recipe

Some Helpful Tips for Cooking Hooligan Fish

  1. Use cornflour and all-purpose flour to bring a crispy and crunchy texture to your fish.
  2. Add seasonings such as garlic powder, salt, pepper, and chili powder.
  3. Fry the hooligan fish in a sloped pan on medium heat and let the color change to light golden.
  4. Cook the Hooligan fish in 4 to 5 batches, and each batch should be on the pan for about 5 minutes. Heat the pan for about 2 to 5 minutes over medium-high heat. As the oil gets heated, add stir-fried chopped ingredients into the sloped saute pan.
  5. To check if your finger-licking fish is done, you may have to keep the following things in mind:

Did you know that hooligan fish was that easy to cook?

Recipe for Sweet and Sour Hooligan Fish

Sweet and sour hooligan fish are very easy to cook and mouth-watering at the same time. This recipe is ideal for the last minute as it can be prepared in 25 to 30 minutes. So let’s get started.

Ingredients You May Need

  • 400 grams of Hooligan fish
  • Ginger garlic paste
  • Salt
  • Soya sauce
  • Bell pepper
  • 7 Green onions
  • 1 large chopped carrot
  • 1 boiled and mashed sweet potato
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  •  ⅔ cup sugar
  • 250 gms pineapple drained, reserve the can juice for later use
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed into 1 cup of water
  • ¼ cup tomato ketchup
Fried coated hooligan fish

Method to Cook

  1. Buy hooligan fish balls from any fish vendor and sprinkle some black pepper and salt.
  2. Add fish balls into beaten eggs and cover the balls with breadcrumbs to give them a crunchy texture.
  3. Deep fry the fish into a sloped frying pan, preheat the pan for almost 5 to 7 minutes, fry the fish on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes maximum depending on the size of the fish.
  4. Once you’re done frying the fish, now it’s time for the sauce.
  5. You’ll first have to combine Pineapple syrup, sugar, ketchup, salt, crushed ginger garlic, and soya sauce for the sauce. Mix them well, add cornstarch mixture, and stir well until the sauce thickens.
  6. Then, add sliced bell peppers and green onions into the sauce. 7. Place the fried fish balls in a serving dish and add the sauce to the fish.

This sweet and sour fish recipe delivers a mouth-watering combination to give a tangy and crunchy flavor that you have been craving.

Hooligan fish can be eaten and cooked in various ways, and the easiest way is to cook deep-fried fish. You can also add it in a soup or curry, and a yummilicious dipping sauce for a heavenly taste.

Related Questions

While reading this article, plenty of questions must be wandering in your mind; I have answered a few of them below:

Are Hooligan Fish Healthy? 

Hooligan fish have a lot of vitamins and minerals. They contain minerals such as calcium, which helps build and protect healthy bones and teeth and aids in proper muscle contractions; phosphorus, which aids in the conversion of food into energy and the transport of nutrients into and out of your cells; and potassium, which aids in the maintenance of a steady heartbeat.

These little fish also include vitamin D, which helps build your teeth and bones, as well as B vitamins, which aid in the conversion of food into energy, which is required to support healthy skin, hair, blood, and brain functions.

Is Hooligan Fish Low in Carbs?

Unlike meat, these fish are low in carbs and fat but enriched with proteins and vitamins; for example, a 100 grams serving of hooligan fish contains only 77 calories. Just like preparing a gar fish, you can control calorie level in this fish.

6 Tips for Cooking Fish (so it Actually Tastes Good!)


Hooligan fish is one of the best tasted and most delicious fish to eat. The unique taste of this fish makes it the favorite of many. With this article, I have tried to provide you with enough ways to satisfy your craving for hooligan fish.

It’s time to cook it and satisfy your tastebuds.

Nathaniel Lee is an avid cook, drawing on his decades of home cooking and fine dining experience. He is a contributing chef at Mashed, and his recipes and contributions have been featured in Tasting Table, Edible Arrangements, Insanely Good Recipes, and The Daily Meal.