Recipe : Sweet and sour fish

I didn’t realise that I have never posted a simple recipe like sweet and sour fish before. I think it is because it is so common, so easy I never thought about writing it down.

You see, every time I make sweet and sour fish, I use different ingredients. Sometimes, I use a combination of orange marmalade, honey, HP sauce, fresh orange juice, Thai chili sauce or whatever I fancy. So, my sweet and sour fish is never the same.

black pomfret

Obviously, you need fish to make sweet and sour fish. Anytime of fish will do because once the fish is deep fried till crispy, it is good. The above is a black pomfret which costs me about RM12, I think. It is nicely gutted and cleaned by the fishmonger. Just rub some salt and a bit of flour on the skin before deep frying in hot oil.


Some flavourful vegetables like onions, celery, ginger, garlic, chillies, tomatoes, capsicum or cucumber will make good garnishing and also provide nice texture and colour. There is no hard and fast rules. Just use whatever there is. For the above, I use one onion, one tomato and one stalk celery. Just three basic ingredients.

Some recipes call for so much fuss like a sliver of ginger, a clove of garlic yadda yadda yadda. It turns off new cooks from even attempting it because it is hard to buy ingredients in tiny quantities.


For the sauce, I used plum sauce, tamarind pulp (mix with some water to make juice) and tomato sauce for colours.

Basically, mix all the ingredients with some water, add a teaspoon of cornflour, some sugar and salt.

Method for sweet and sour fish

1) Fry the fish till crispy, put in serving plate
2) Pour out oil but use the same wok/pan to stir fry the vegetables/onions till fragrant
3) Add the sauce/gravy and simmer. Taste and add more sugar/vinegar to suit your taste
4) Pour onto the fish
5) Serve

Easy, right?

sweet and sour fish

Homecooking cannot be compared with those rice stalls where they can stuff like 6-8 ingredients into one dish. We normally do not have that many types of veggies at home so stick with the basics. Simplicity is the best. If you have to keep referring to a recipe book during cooking, it will robbed off the joy of cooking. Just go with the senses.