Sweet & Sour Fish

I love cooking sweet and sour fish because it’s so easy to prepare. Just fry the fish, make the sauce, and
stir fry the veggies and that’s it! The only thing I don’t like about frying fish in the house is the smell. That is
why when we remodeled our kitchen three years ago, I fitted my stove with the biggest hood that I can find with
a powerful exhaust motor. It is not a fancy-looking hood but it sure could suck all the smoke, steam, and smell
out of the house. I’m very happy with it because It beats frying the fish in the backyard.

Rock cod, Tilapia, Trout or any fish that can be fried.
Salt for seasoning the fish
1 cup Vegetable Oil or more depending on the size of fish
1 medium Bell Pepper (pick your color)
1 small onion – cut to 1 inch cubes
1 small Carrot – peeled and sliced diagonally
3 green onion – cut in 1 inch long including the white end
1 cup pineapple chunks (drained)
2 Tablespoon finely minced ginger
1 Tablespoon finely minced garlic
2 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

Sweet & Sour Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup Palm Vinegar
1/2 cup catsup
2 1/2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
1 1/2 Tablespoon Cornstarch and 1 1/2 Tablespoon Water (thickener)

Season your fish with salt and then set aside.
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a sauce pan except the cornstarch/water mixture.
Whisk until fully combined and dissolved.
Place sauce pan over medium heat and let the sauce boil.
When the sauce is boiling, slowly add the cornstarch/water mixture while stirring the sauce.
Keep stirring until sauce thickens.
Turn the heat off.
NOTE** you can keep the leftover sauce (if any) in the refrigerator.

Place a wide frying pan or wok over high heat, then add oil
When the oil is hot, fry fish until golden brown on each side.
Transfer on a serving plate, cover with aluminum foil then set aside.

Place wok over high heat.
Add oil then swirl wok around and side to side
When the oil is hot, add ginger, garlic, and sliced carrots then stir fry until carrots are tender but still crunchy
Add bell peppers and onion then stir fry for about 2 minutes.
Pour sweet and sour sauce to the wok then let it boil.
Turn off the heat and add green onion.
Ladle the sauce with veggies on the fish.
Add some strips of green onions and carrots on top of the fish as garnish.
Best served with hot rice.


Your comment is always appreciated.



  1. says

    Ray, if I saw this fish on a nearby table in a restaurant, I wouldn’t even open the menu. I would just say “The same beautiful thing, please” :-)
    I like pairing sour ingredients with fish (lately vinegar marinated fish is a very frequent guest in my fridge), I like sweet and spicy… I should definitely try sweet and sour one day.

    • says

      Thank you, Sissi! Fish is a very versatile ingredient but it’s the one I always have a difficult time photographing. Have a wonderful week ahead.

  2. says

    Great kitchen, and great foresight on getting huge hood for delicious dishes like this! I love sweet and sour fish too. So much flavor on the crispy fish. Beautiful photos too!

  3. says

    Wow your sweet and sour fish is beautiful! It’s so hard to take a photo of fish and yours is perfect! I love sweet and sour taste – hard to refuse. And OMG I need that huge hood for my house too. It was nice to see a part of your kitchen where all the yummy dishes have been created. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. says

    I love sweet and sour anything! We use it a lot in Italy too (but it is slightly different) and whenever I eat the sauce my taste buds sing in happiness!!! hehehe Amazing looking photo too! I too dislike the smell of fried fish… even the open window doesn’t get rid of all of it! hehehe

    • says

      That’s why I used to fry fish in the backyard before because of the smell but fried fish is always yummy! Thank you for dropping by Manu! :)

  5. says

    First, I love the kitchen, fancy or not that hood is awesome. Your note about having to do this in the backyard made me chuckle. My wife gets migraines and if she comes home to me cooking fish, well lets just say it’s a bit of a sensory overload and we need one of those hoods. Finally, love the recipe. Just perfect.

  6. Marlene Identicon Marlene says

    Mu husband actually likes fish smell ! But only he…and in the end everything goes out the house. The only smell he gets now is when he eat. (and he eats fast) Overall everyone in the house love it, but my son as soon he encounter even the smallest fish bone (happens) – stops to eat.

  7. says

    I’d die to have a stove and hood like yours, Ray! And this fish dish looks so restaurant quality, it’s amazing. I’m not very good when it comes to cooking fish or anything savory so this recipe is very helpful to me. Thanks for passing the fish-love!

    • says

      Haha, I like the fish-love thing. Hey, I’ve seen your red-hot kitchen and mine is not even near the beauty of yours. Enjoy the rest of the week, Maya! :)

  8. says

    Hello Ray..
    That has to be the most amazing fish I have ever seen…the color of the fried skin alone is apetizing
    You made me smile about frying in the back yard…that is what my mum does! I don’t fry fish because I don’t have a backyard and I can’t handle the smell…but I am seriously considering it after seeing your recipe

    • says

      Hi Sawsan – I enjoy frying in the backyard if the weather is good because we usually go ahead and eat the meal on our bench in the backyard. But when the weather is awful, that is when I hate frying there. Thank you for dropping by, Sawsan. :)

    • says

      Hi Kankana! Yes you can use red wine vinegar and it will also enhance the color of the sauce. However, you may have to do some adjustments on the amount and it depends on your preference in sourness & sweetness. Thank you for visiting my blog, today! :)

  9. says

    My mouth is definitely watering at the sight of this gorgeous dish!! I’ve never heard of palm vinegar before…but I’m glad I can use other vinegars.
    I think the best part of this dish would be that skin!

    • says

      Hi Sophia! You can definitely use other vinegar on this dish. You may just have to make some adjustment on the amount because of different acidity. Palm vinegar is a very popular vinegar that is basically made out of zap from Nipa Palm. Thank you for dropping by. Oh by the way, you are absolutely correct — the crispy skin the best part! :)

  10. says

    OMG! {jaw drops} What a gorgeous stove with six burners and that hood. Maybe one day…I don’t know when, but maybe one day I’ll have a kitchen like that. I love the smell of food when I’m cooking, but after that…I don’t want to smell it throughout the house and hours later. I need one of those strong fans!

    Beautiful dish, Ray. I’m a big fan of tilapia and these flavors, this recipe will be a hit in my home.

  11. says

    Oh Ray, I really love your cooker hood!!! I just miss all the free high heat stir fry and deep frying. Now I must persuade my hubby to get one like that. I hardly do deep frying here. If I do, my whole house, every corner, will smell of oil! :( And if I have that cooker hood, I think I will cook even more and blog everyday! ๐Ÿ˜€ And my gosh…that’s such a big cooker you have. I bet you always cook at least 6 dishes in one go!!! I need to get one like that too…..haha. Love your sweet and sour fish….my all time favourite…..mmmm.

  12. Rhea Identicon Rhea says

    tried this recipe and it was amazing! although i did not include the pineapple as me and my husband are not fan of pineapple in dishes (except desserts!) in general, but overall it was a success! thanks Ray!

  13. Jana Identicon Jana says

    I just had a very similar dish at a Thai restaurant. The person with me who did the ordering said it sounds gross together, but is delicious. it was. I came home and started looking for recipes for it. Yours was very similar, but at the restaurant the catfish was cut in pieces, heavily battered and deep fried. I liked the simplicity of your recipe with the whole fish, also lower in calories. I lightly floured the fish and pan fried it in a mixture of EVOO, vegetable and seame oil. I cheated and used a bottled sweet and sour sauce, but want to try yours. We are from south La., so might have to kick up the heat a little. The Thai dish was a little spicy. What pepper do you think best to add to add a little spice? Great dish. I will make this again as catfish is plentiful and cheap here. If you cut up the veggies ahead of time, this can be prepared quickly. Like that. Thanks for your quick and easy recipes.

    • says

      Hello, Jana. Thank you for your comment and question. As far as adding a little heat to the sauce, I would add Sambal Oelek to the sauce one teaspoon as a time, mix then taste. Repeat the process if until it suits the level of heat you are looking for. You can find Sambal oelek in most Asian Market. And yes, you may cut up veggies in advance and just keep in a fridge. Take care.

      ~ ray ~

  14. says

    Guess what I was looking for a recipe on google for sweet and sour fish and up popped your recipe so of course I I tried it tonight for dinner and it rocked. Sauce was perfect, easy to make and a great addition to our family favorites. Take Care, BAM

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