Chinese Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet

Sweet and sour fish
Philippe Desnerck/Photolibrary/Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Marinade: 15 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
167 Calories
1g Fat
16g Carbs
22g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 167
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 42mg 14%
Sodium 520mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 22g
Calcium 30mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This “sweet and sour fish fillet” recipe originates in Eastern China. It’s preferable to use “white fish” like cod, haddock, sea bass or monkfish. Monkfish is not only delicious but the shape is perfect for cutting and the texture is a bit more solid than the other kinds of fish. This means that once you have cooked the fish it won’t turn mushy or flaky. It also won’t go dry so you can still taste the nice juiciness of the fish after it has been deep-fried.

You can swap the additional vegetables or fruit as you wish, such as pineapple, different colors of peppers, carrot slices, onions, etc.


  • 1 pound fish fillets (such as cod, haddock, or sea bass)
  • For the Marinade:
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (mixed with 2 tablespoons water)
  • For the Vegetables:
  • 4 ounces mangetout (snow peas)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons green onions (chopped diagonally)
  • 2 to 4 cups oil (for deep-frying)

Steps to Make It

  1. Rinse the fish fillets and pat dry. Cut into 2-inch squares.

  2. Add the fish to the marinade ingredients, using your fingers to mix the ingredients and adding the cornstarch last. Marinate the fish for 15 minutes.

  3. While the fish is marinating, prepare the sauce and vegetables. In a small bowl, mix together the chicken broth, soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, tomato paste, vinegar, and sugar.

  4. In a separate small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water.

  5. Blanch the snow peas in boiling water until they turn bright green. Plunge briefly in cold water. Drain thoroughly.

  6. Cut the bell pepper in half, remove the seeds and cut into cubes.

  7. Heat the oil to between 360 F and 370 F. Add the marinated fish cubes. Deep-fry until they are golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.

  8. Remove all but 2 tablespoons oil from the wok. Add the ginger and green onion and stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds). Add the snow peas. Stir fry for a minute and add the red bell peppers.

  9. Push the vegetables up to the sides of the wok and add the sauce in the middle. Bring to a boil.

  10. Add the cornstarch and water mixture, stirring to thicken.

  11. Serve the fish on a platter, covered with the sweet and sour sauce and vegetables.