Sweet and sour fish is a very popular traditional Chinese recipe that originated in the eastern region of China. This is a very easy recipe, in which the fish is served with a delicious sweet and sour sauce made from an assortment of different types of vegetables, sauces and seasonings. The recipe calls for only a handful of ingredients and tastes awesome when served with warm cooked rice.
Difficulty level: Easy
Servings per recipe: 4
Time required for preparation: 15-20 minutes
Time required for cooking: 20-25 minutes
1 sharp-edged spoon
1 wok or skillet
1 spider strainer
1 stirring spoon
2 fresh tilapia or cod fishes, gill remove
½ cup of tomato paste
1/4th cup of vinegar
2 cups of cooking oil
2 1-inch pieces of ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
½ tablespoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
2 tablespoon of minced garlic
Salt, to taste
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 red chili, deseeded and pounded
1 medium sized green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup of brown sugar
2 small carrots, julienned
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
4 cups of water
Method Of Cooking
1. Fetch a dry skillet or wok and grease it with oil. Place the wok on the stove and turn the knob to light up the flame. Maintain the flame on medium and wait for the oil to heat up. While the oil is heating up, take the fishes and scrape off the scales from them with the edge of a sharp-edged spoon or a knife.
Then extract out the gills from the fishes and slit open the belly portion of the fishes to remove all the giblets. Finally, slit the sides of the fishes 4-5 times to allow the seasonings to penetrate inside the fishes. Once done, sprinkle some salt and black pepper over one side of one of the fishes and then rub the seasonings over the fish to help them penetrate inside the fish.
2. Once one of the sides of the fish is seasoned, flip it over to season the other side in the same way. Now take some more salt and rub it inside the belly of the fish. Once done, season the other fish in the same procedure and then set aside both of them. Once the oil in the wok heats up, put one of the seasoned fish in the wok and fry it for 8-10 minutes or until the skin becomes crispy and golden brown in color.
Now flip the fish to fry the other side as well. Once done, strain out the fish from the wok and set it aside. Fry the other fish in the same way and then set it aside.
3. Now take the bell peppers, onion, garlic, ginger and the carrots. Put all the vegetables in a colander and then rinse them thoroughly until they become free from all dirt and impurities. Next, take the red and green bell peppers and remove the core and seeds from them.
Slice the bell peppers thinly and then set them aside. Next, take the onion and slice it thinly as well. Follow that by slicing the carrots into thin sticks. Finally, take the garlic and the ginger and then peel both of them.
Mince the garlic cloves and slice the ginger into thin sticks. Once all the vegetables are chopped, throw the minced garlic in the wok and sauté it for 1 minute or until it turns aromatic and tender.
4. Once the garlic is sautéed, add the onions and sauté them for 30-40 seconds or until they become tender. Follow that by sautéing the ginger sticks. Then add the fish sauce and the carrots. Stir and cook the carrots for 2 minutes and then add-in the bell pepper slices and the pounded red chili.
Sauté the bell pepper slices for 3-4 minutes and then drizzle the vinegar, soy sauce and the sesame oil over the vegetables. Stir to mix the added ingredients with the vegetables and then pour the water over them. Give a brief stir to the mixture and then let the sauce come to a boil.
5. Once the sauce starts boiling, sprinkle the brown sugar and a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper over the sauce. Stir the sauce to incorporate the seasonings and then add the tomato paste. Stir the sauce to dissolve the tomato paste in it.
Once the tomato paste gets incorporated into the sauce, dissolve the cornstarch in a little bit of water to prepare the slurry. Pour the slurry over the sauce and then stir the sauce immediately to prevent the formation of any cornstarch lumps. Let the sauce cook for 1 minute more or until it thickens up. Once thickened, spread the sauce over the fried fish and serve warm.