The best of dishes know how to make the most of all the flavors their ingredients can offer. Whether incredibly in sync or wildly different, each ingredient’s taste offers something unique and distinctly them, that contributes to a beautiful and delicious whole. Dishes that are most memorable to us are those that take so many different components and turn it into something extraordinary. This is exactly what we can find in a classic and comforting sweet and sour fish!
Sweet and sour fish is yet another example of Filipino-Chinese excellence. This dish traces its origins back centuries, and has retained its popularity across time and countries. From the most upscale Chinese restaurants to even fast food chains, sweet and sour fish is almost always a specialty. What’s not to love, after all, when it comes to tender fish in a deliciously vibrant sauce? Even kids will find something to love in this tasty treat.
The combination of sweet and sour is one that people use in a variety of dishes. It isn’t just with fish that this deliciously saucy combination shines and pairs perfectly! Indeed, sweet and sour pork, chicken, and even tokwa are some other popular pairings. No matter what your main protein is, however, there’s no denying that the intensely tasty flavors of this sweet and sour will seep into your dish. Each bite will be more delicious than the last!
What fish should I use for my sweet and sour fish?
As you may notice, the recipe only calls for one large (and clean) fish. However, it does not specify what kind of fish to actually use. This is a decision I would like to leave up to you! Depending on what fish is easiest for you to get, as well as what’s within your budget, this sweet and sour fish recipe is quite adaptable.
However, this doesn’t mean that just any fish will do for your recipe. As much as possible, your sweet and sour fish will truly shine with white fish. This type of fish, with its slightly firm yet fatty flesh, works perfectly with this Chinese favorite. One common option is definitely red snapper, but when it comes to local finds tilapia is also quite popular. Dalagang bukid is also another typical fish to find at any dining table when sweet and sour fish is the meal in question.
What’s in the sweet and sour sauce?
Like we mentioned earlier, sweet and sour fish is chock full of unique ingredients; satisfying on their own, but perfect when you put them all together. In the iconically bright sauce of sweet and sour sauce, a combination of vinegar and ketchup is what makes this dish truly stand out. It’s the ketchup, too, that gives it that very distinct and vibrant appearance.
Other than that, it’s a hodgepodge of veggies that makes your sweet and sour fish shine! Red and green bell peppers, carrots, and ginger, among others, make your dish all the more flavorful and varied in both tastes and textures. Some people even add pineapple chunks for that extra bit of sweetness. Regardless, however, a mix of cornstarch and water help give it that thick consistency this sauce is otherwise known for. You’ll want to coat even your rice in it once we’re through!
While the many ingredients in sweet and sour fish may seem intimidating, fret not! A lot of this recipe is merely tossing these ingredients together. In no time at all, you’ll have ready a sweet and sour fish your whole family will fall in love with.
How to Make Sweet and Sour Fish
Prepare your large fish by rubbing salt across it, then letting it stay for about 15 minutes. In the meanwhile, start on your sweet and sour sauce by heating 3 tablespoons of cooking oil in a saucepan. In this pan, you’ll also be sautéing your onion, garlic, and ginger together.
When your onion slices are soft, pour in 5 tablespoons of vinegar, then add 7 tablespoons of Tomato Ketchup. Stir this mix together, then continue cooking for 30 seconds. After, pour 1 ¾ cups of water in the pan and bring it to a boil. Your carrots and bell peppers, both red and green, go in next, after which you’ll let your mixture cook for about 1 minute.
The next step would be to make a slurry for your sweet and sour fish sauce. This will thicken the sauce and up the consistency, giving it that viscosity you’re after. Do this by combining a tablespoon of cornstarch with three tablespoons of water, mixing well then pouring it into the spot. Stir immediately then cook until your sauce is as thick as you want it to be. After seasoning it with salt and ground black pepper to taste, you may now set it aside.
Now it’s time to make the fish of your sweet and sour fish! After heating oil in a deep pan, fry both sides of your clean, salted fish. Your goal here is to get your fish to a beautiful golden brown, and once you do you can remove it from the pan and let the excess oil drip. Afterwards, you may place it on a clean serving plate. Top your cooked fish with your sweet and sour fish sauce, and serve it warm. Lots of cups of rice are sure to come in handy!
Your sweet and sour fish is bound to be a family favorite! We’d love to hear what you think of this fragrant and timeless dish. Let us know in the comments below!
Sweet and Sour Fish
- 1 large fish cleaned
- 2 cups cooking oil
- 1 Tablespoon salt
Sweet and Sour Sauce ingredients:
- 5 Tablespoons white vinegar
- 7 Tablespoons Tomato Ketchup
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 red bell pepper small
- 1 green bell pepper small
- 2 thumbs ginger Julienne
- 1 carrot Julienne
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 ¾ cups water
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 Tablespoons cooking oil
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Prepare the fish by rubbing salt all over it. Let it stay for at least 15 minutes.
- Make the sweet and sour sauce by heating oil in a saucepan. Saute onion, garlic, and ginger.
- Once the onion softens, pour the vinegar, and then add ketchup. Stir and continue cooking for 30 seconds.
- Pour water into the pan. Let boil.
- Add carrots and bell peppers. Continue cooking using low heat for 1 minute.
- Combine cornstarch with 3 Tablespoons water to form a slurry. Mix well and then pour into the pot. Stir immediately. Cook until the sauce thickens based on your desired consistency. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Set aside.
- Start cooking the fish. Heat oil in a deep pan. Fry both sides of the fish until the color turns golden brown. Remove the fish from the pan and let the excess oil drip. Place on a clean serving plate.
- Top the fried fish with sweet and sour sauce. Serve warm. Share and enjoy!