Imperial Sweet-and-Sour Fish Recipe | PBS Food

Imperial Sweet-and-Sour Fish

Chef Martin Yan shares some recipes in honor of the Chinese New Year. Click here to see more.


Yield: Makes 4 servings



  • One 1 1/2- to 2-pound whole fish, such as rockfish or snapper, cleaned
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour Cooking oil for deep-frying
  • 1 1/2 cups Sweet-and-Sour Sauce (homemade or store bought)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pineapple
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped yellow bell pepper
  • Sweet and Sour Sauce (If using store bought, skip this step)
  • Makes about 1-1/2 cups
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


  1. Sweet and Sour Sauce (If using store bought, skip this step): Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. The sauce will keep refrigerated up to 2 weeks. Bring the sauce to room temperature or warm it lightly in a microwave oven before serving.
  2. Fish: Beat eggs in a wide bowl. Place flour in a separate wide bowl.
  3. Cut 4 diagonal slashes, about 3/4 inch deep, on both sides of the fish. Rub salt and white pepper into the slashes.
  4. Dip fish into the egg, drain briefly, then cover in the flour, gently shaking off excess.
  5. In a wok, stir-fry pan, or large deep skillet, pour 3 inches of oil. Using a deep fry thermometer, heat to 350 degrees F. Carefully lower fish into the hot oil. Use a ladle to carefully and continuously pour hot oil over top of the fish. Deep- fry until fish is cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes. Using 2 wire strainers, carefully lift fish from hot oil and drain on paper towels.
  6. Bring sweet-and-sour sauce to a boil in a saucepan. Add pineapple and cook until fruit is heated through, about 1 minute. Add cornstarch mixture and stir until sauce boils and thickens, about 30 seconds.
  7. Transfer fish to a serving plate. Pour sauce over the fish, garnish with cilantro and bell peppers. Serve.


Copyright: Yan Can Cook, Inc. 2010