Rowena Dumlao-Giardina resides in Italy, cooking and photographing her family's interesting meals on Apron and Sneakers. After moving to Italy in 1999 from the Philippines, she has traveled extensively around the country and the rest of ...
Homemade sweet-and-sour sauce makes this Asian fish and vegetable dish even better
If you've tried Asian sweet-and-sour sauce in all the usual dishes, then it's time to try it with fresh whole fish and vegetables.
Sweet-and-sour sauce with veggies covering a whole fish may not be your average dish, but any Asian food lover will tell you to grab that fork and dig in. As the sauce's name promises, it is sweet and sour, so expect a blend of these two flavors. The best way to enjoy this dish is with steamed white rice, because it subdues the contrasting flavors a bit (and also because that's the way it's eaten in Asia).
This is a very easy recipe to make, and anyone can do it. You don't need a wok or any other special utensils. Just brown the fish in an ample-size saucepan, and put all the remaining ingredients in another pan to make the sauce. Pour the sauce onto the fish, and then your meal is ready. Easy, isn't it?
1 pound whole white fish (gilthead sea bream, branzino, sea bass, red snapper, halibut), scaled and gutted
1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium white onion, sliced
1/8 cup ginger, julienned
2 medium carrots, julienned
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
Spring onions, roughly chopped
Steamed white rice (for serving)
Coat the fish with the flour well, and shake off the excess. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.
In a large saucepan with olive oil over medium heat, cook the fish on both sides.
While waiting for the fish to cook, prepare the sauce in another saucepan with a little olive oil over low-medium heat. Sauté the garlic for about a minute, then add the onions, carrots and ginger. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the water, vinegar, sugar and tomato paste, and mix well.
In a small bowl, quickly mix the cornstarch with about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the sauce you are cooking, and whisk lightly with a fork until you get rid of the clumps. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the vegetables and sauce. Cook until it thickens, cover, and set aside.
When the fish is cooked, drain it of the excess oil, and place it on a serving plate. Pour the sweet-and-sour sauce with the vegetables on top. Garnish with the spring onions.