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Simple Sweet and Sour Fish recipe

Simple Sweet and Sour Fish recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Seafood
  • Fish

This Chinese stir fry is easy and delicious. If you're a little daunted about filleting the fish, feel free to use fish fillets.

3 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 (500g) whole freshwater fish, such as catfish, cleaned and patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped spring onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornflour mixed with 2 teaspoons water or as needed

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:20min ›Extra time:15min marinating › Ready in:55min

  1. Fillet the fish and slice the fillets into thick slices. Marinate with salt, Shaoxing wine, pepper and ginger for at least 15 minutes. Lightly dredge the fish in cornflour.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a frying pan over high heat, until hot. Pan-fry the fish until golden. Set aside.
  3. Wipe the pan clean. Add 1 tablespoon oil and heat until hot. Stir in the sugar, tomato puree, black vinegar, MSG, spring onion, sesame oil, 1 pinch salt and 4 tablespoons water. Stir and bring to the boil.
  4. Add a little bit of cornflour slurry to thicken the sauce. Finally, add the fish and gently stir to coat the fish with the sauce. Serve.


Chinese black vinegar, monosodium glutamate and Shaoxing wine can be purchased in Chinese/Oriental speciality shops.

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Sweet and Sour Fish

Sweet & Sour F ish is a dish that I think everyone is familiar with. This classic restaurant-style Chinese fish recipe is quick and easy to prepare. A delicious combination of sweet and sour with amazing fried fish!

This dish can be a quick weekday meal or serve on special occasions. Not all fish are suitable, taste-wise, with the sauce. Usually, white-fleshed fish with very subtle flavors are good choices. The breaded fillet with the sweet and sour sauce is so delicious and satisfying. My family really enjoys this dish whether it’s a weekday meal or weekend indulgence.

How to Cook Sweet and Sour Tilapia

Making this dish at home is quick and easy. I also liked how tasty and delicious the outcome was.

Start by preparing the dish. Make sure that it is properly cleaned. Make incisions on the side of the fish. Apply Knorr Liquid Seasoning on the incisions and in the cavity. Rub until the entire fish is seasoned completely. This single liquid seasoning works wonders. It provides all the flavors that we need. Give it at least 10 minutes so that the fish absorbs the flavors.

Start the frying process. There is nothing fancy in this step. Simply fry both sides of the fish until it turns golden brown. For beginners, make sure that you have a splatter screen on hand to protect yourself from oil splatters.

Note that it is best to use medium heat. Let time do the work. You know that it is almost done when the crackling sound of the oil subsides.

Remove the fried fish from the pan. Put it on a clean plate. Time to make the sweet and sour sauce.

Making your first sweet and sour sauce can be intimidating considering all of the ingredients that you can see. You’ll be surprised on how simple it is to make one.

Make the sauce by sautéing onion, garlic, and ginger. Add white vinegar and water. Let the liquid boil before adding the tomato ketchup. Stir until well blended. Add sugar and continue stirring until it dissolves into the mixture. Put the carrot and bell peppers. Continue cooking for 3 minutes before adding the slurry (mixture of cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water). The slurry helps thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

You can serve this by arranging the fried fish on a plate and top with sauce. You can also combine the fried fish with the sauce and cook for a couple of minutes before serving.

Aside from tilapia, you can use other fish varieties to cook this dish. Here is my recipe for a sweet and sour version using red snapper.

Easy Sweet and Sour Fish Recipe

Make the usual fried fish more delicious with this easy recipe!

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Preparation Time : 10 min.
Cooking Time : 30 mins.
Serving Size : 3
  • 1 kg dalagang bukid
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, rock
  • 3/4 tsp pepper, black
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • oil, for deep frying
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, red, quartered
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup DEL MONTE Extra Rich Banana Ketchup (320g)
  • 1 pouch DEL MONTE Pineapple Tidbits (115g), drained, reserve syrup
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp sugar, white

1. Season fish with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour. Deep-fry in oil until crispy.

2. In a separate pan, heat the oil. Sauté onions for 1 minute. Remove from the pan and set aside.

3. Add the vinegar, ketchup, reserved pineapple syrup, soy sauce, and sugar. Simmer while stirring continuously until thick.

4. Add the DEL MONTE Pineapple Tidbits and onions. Pour over fried fish. Serve.

Saluna (Iraqi Sweet and Sour Fish)

This sweet and sour fish is crazy good and very fast and easy. Wonderful for a tasty and different weeknight dinner.

light vegetable oil (I used olive oil)

1 small pointed (semi-hot or mild) green pepper, slices

2 large beef tomatoes, peeled, cut in half, then in slices

juice of 2 lemons – about 125 ml (4fl oz)

1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste

4 cod fillets weighing about 1 kg (2lb)

1. Fry the onion in 2 tablespoons of oil with the green pepper till soft and transparent, stirring often. Add the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (I continued to gently sauté the tomatoes for the next two steps as I like them well cooked.)

2. Make a sweet and sour syrup by simmering the lemon juice with the sugar, a little salt and the tomato paste until the sugar dissolves.

3. In another frying pan, briefly shallow-fry the fish in hot oil, turning the fillets over so they are lightly colored but still undercooked. Then transfer them to the frying pan with the onions and tomatoes. Pour the syrup over the fish and vegetables and cook 10 minutes or until the fish is done. (I cooked on medium heat, making sure that all the liquid didn’t evaporate and burn the fish)

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Step 1: Mix 1/4 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 tablespoons vinegar together in a small bowl.

Step 2: Set aside.

Step 3: Heat a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and spray with olive oil spray.

Step 4: Add 3/4 pounds tilapia and saute 3 minutes for a 1/2-inch fillet.

Step 5: Carefully turn the fish over and saute for 2 minutes.

Step 6: Add salt and pepper to taste to the cooked side of the fish.

Step 7: Remove to a plate.

Step 8: Add the sauce to the skillet and cook for 30 seconds until it just starts to bubble.

Step 9: Spoon the sauce over the fish and spread 1 cup of diced tomatoes on top.

Sweet and Sour Fish Recipe


  • Fried fish of your choice, arrange in serving dish
  • 2 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 pc carrot, sliced in thick strip
  • 1 medium size green bell pepper (capsicum), sliced in strips
  • 1 medium size red bell pepper (capsicum), sliced in strips
  • 1 medium size tomato quartered
  • 1 medium size onion quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic crushed
  • Some water

For sweet and sour sauce:

  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground pepper
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (or catsup)
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch diluted in 3 tablespoon of water


  1. Heat in a skillet or wok, put the cooking oil and saute garlic, onions and till fragrant oil
  2. Put in carrots mix then cover with lid and cook for 3 minutes, put small amount of water before covering to prevent drying up.
  3. Put in bell pepper mix then cover with lid and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat, then transfer the vegetable on top of the fried fish of your choice

For the sauce:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a sauce pan,
  2. Turn on the heat on medium, continuously stirring the sauce till it boil.
  3. Taste if the already according to your taste preference and adjust if needed, then pour in the cornstarch slurry, let the sauce boils till it thickens
  4. Turn off the heat. Pour the sauce over the prepared fried fish and vegetables.
  5. Served hot and enjoy!!

For the Fish Fillet:

  1. Grouper Fish Fillet, sliced in 10 cm thick
  2. ¼ tsp salt
  3. 1/8 tsp ground pepper
  4. 1 egg, slightly beaten
  5. Marinade the fillet in salt, pepper and egg for 30 minutes then dredge in corn starch before deep frying.
  6. Deep fried the fish fillet till both sides are golden brown.
  7. Place the fried fish fillet on strainer or kitchen towel to drain the excess oil, then arrange on the serving dish set aside

Looking for other Lutong Pinoy Recipes to try on? Feel free to check out our pork recipes, chicken recipes and desserts.

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Baked Fish in Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

To prepare the sauce: heat the oil in a large sauté pan or saucepan set over high heat. Add the onion and sauté until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for an additional minute or two. Add the carrots. Squeeze the tomatoes into the pot, breaking them up into smaller pieces between your fingers. Add all of the juice from the tomatoes, plus about 1/4 cup water that you use to rinse out the can. Add the brown sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the chopped green pepper, black pepper, and salt. Stir, cover, and let simmer for about 5 minutes, until the green pepper is wilted. Stir in the raisins. Cool to room temperature.

For the fish: heat the oil in a large sauté pan set over high heat. Dredge the fish fillets in flour and place in the hot oil. Don&rsquot crowd the pan. Season the fillets with salt and pepper while they fry until very light brown, no more than 2 or 3 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes or so. Remove from the pan and pat dry with paper towels.

To assemble: preheat the oven to 350° F. Spoon some of the sauce onto the bottom of a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Arrange the fried fish fillets on top in a single layer. Pour the remaining sauce over the fish.

Bake in the preheated oven until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Test for doneness by pressing the fillet with a butter knife to see how easily it flakes when it breaks easily into tender flakes, it is ready. Remove the fish from the oven and cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.


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