Sweet and Sour Fish

You could serve either whole fish like seabass, brill, bream, plaice or mullet or chunky pieces of meaty fish like monk fish, cod or halibut steaks. A whole seabass makes a splendid presentation but is harder to serve because of the bones. I have also used filleted fish quite successfully.


Ingredients for the coating:

  1. 1 whole seabass weighing approximately 1 kg, cleaned and scaled
  2. 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  3. 2 tablespoon cornflour
  4. ½ teaspoon salt
  5. sprinkling of ground white pepper

Ingredients for the sauce

  1. 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  2. 2 tablespoons granulated or soft brown sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon ginger, cut into julienne strips
  4. 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  5. ½ cup Heinz tomato ketchup
  6. 1 cup water
  7. 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  8. 1 tablespoon sherry or Shaoshing wine
  9. 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  10. 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Suggested ingredients for the vegetable garnish (You do not need all of the following ingredients)

  1. 1 fresh tomatoes, cut into quarters
  2. ¼ cucumber, peeled and de-seeded
  3. 2 slices of fresh pineapple cut into small pieces
  4. 2 stalks of spring onion or coriander leaves


  1. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the fish and cover with beaten egg white. Dust with cornflour to coat. Set aside until ready to cook.
  2. To make the sauce – Heat cooking oil in a hot wok and add ginger and garlic. Fry for a few seconds until the garlic starts to brown a little. Add sugar and let it caramelize to a golden brown. Add water and the rest of the sauce ingredients in quick succession. Season to taste, balancing the sweet with the sour flavours according to personal taste.
  3. Deep fry the fish in hot oil. A small wok is ideal for deep frying. You will need at least 4 cups of cooking oil to immerse the fish completely. Turn over after 5-7 minutes and fry the fish on the other side until both sides are golden brown and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and transfer to serving plate.
  4. When you are ready to serve, arrange the vegetable garnish over the fish and pour the hot sauce over it.

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