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Chinese Sweet and Sour Fish (糖醋鱼) | This recipe uses fish fillets to create a stunning presentation while keeping the cooking process as easy as possible. The fish is shallow-fried until super crispy and then drizzled with a rich and aromatic sauce that is loaded with colorful peppers. It’s a perfect dish to serve at your dinner party, for Chinese New Year, or for other Chinese festivals. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}

Sweet and Sour Fish (糖醋鱼)

5 from 4 votes
This Chinese sweet and sour fish recipe uses fish fillets to create a stunning presentation while keeping the cooking process as easy as possible. The fish is shallow-fried until super crispy and then drizzled with a rich and aromatic sauce that is loaded with colorful peppers. It’s a perfect dish to serve at your dinner party, for Chinese New Year, or for other Chinese festivals. {Gluten-Free Adaptable} To make this dish gluten-free, use tamari or coconut aminos to replace soy sauce. Use dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: chinese new year, holiday cooking
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

  • 4 fillets (1.5 to 2 lbs / 700 to 900 g) white fish , skin-on preferred (catfish, bass, perch, trout, and snapper are suitable)

Fish coating

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Sauce

  • 1 inch ginger , sliced into thin strips
  • 4 cloves garlic , sliced
  • 2 tablespoons shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup chili garlic sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

Cook

  • Vegetable oil for shallow frying
  • 1 bell pepper , sliced
  • 1/4 yellow onion , sliced
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish (Optional)

Instructions

Prep

  • Mix the fish coating ingredients in a tray or plate that is large enough to hold one fish fillet.
  • Mix the sauce ingredients in a big bowl. Stir to mix well.
  • Score the fish by slicing a 1” (2.5 cm) crosshatch pattern across the flesh. If using skin-on fish, cut to the skin but not through it. If using skinless fish, cut through about 2/3 of the fillets so the fillets won’t fall apart.

Cook the fish

  • Prepare a roasting rack over a big tray, for the cooked fish fillets.
  • In a deep-sided pan that’s large enough to hold one fish fillet, heat 1” (2.5 cm) of oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 375°F (190°C). If you’re using smaller fish fillets, you can use as little as 1/2” (1.2 cm) of oil, as long as it covers 2/3 of the fish.
  • Only coat as much fish as you can fry at a time. Place the fish skin-side-down in the tray with the cornstarch mixture. Use a spoon to add more mixture on top. Carefully lift the fillet using your hand to shake off the extra cornstarch and make sure there’s cornstarch between the diamond cuts.
  • As soon as the fish is coated, glenty lay it, flesh-side-down, into the heated oil. Cook without touching until the bottom turns golden, 3 minutes for smaller fish, and 4 minutes or so for larger fish. Flip and cook the other side, for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Once done, transfer the fillet to the tray lined with the rack to drain the extra oil.

Cook the sauce

  • In a medium-sized frying pan, heat 1 teaspoon of oil over medium heat until hot. Add the ginger and garlic. Stir to release the fragrance, 30 seconds or so.
  • Add the onion. Stir a few times.
  • Stir the sauce mixture again to thoroughly dissolve the cornstarch and pour it into the pan. Stir and cook to bring the sauce to a boil.
  • As soon as the sauce starts to thicken, add the bell peppers. Stir a few times until the sauce thickens. Immediately transfer the sauce into a bowl.

Serve

  • Plate the fish on a large tray or on individual serving plates. Add the sauce along with the pepper and onion onto each fillet. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, if using. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 501kcal, Carbohydrates: 30.1g, Protein: 45g, Fat: 16.7g, Saturated Fat: 2.7g, Cholesterol: 80mg, Sodium: 941mg, Potassium: 87mg, Fiber: 0.8g, Sugar: 18.6g, Calcium: 87mg, Iron: 1mg