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Taiwanese Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet

Bronwen is interested in food, diet, and creating recipes, as she has prepared family meals and organised church and home functions.

Slice the Boned Fish Fillet into Strips

Slice the Boned Fish Fillet into Strips

Taiwanese Fish Fillets

Taiwan is an island but often the whole group of islands that make up the Republic of China is known as Taiwan. Except up in the mountains, fresh fish is usually readily available in Taiwan and is very popular at mealtimes in any of its forms. Hardly any of the fish is wasted, even fish-heads are used for a variety of dishes, including soup.

If you are shopping in a market where you choose the exact fish that you want and they prepare it for you, you can choose any of your favourite fish, so long as it is easy to remove the bones. This dish really needs to be bone free.

Choose Fresh Fish: Make sure that the fish you choose is really fresh. You can tell this by looking at its eyes. Don't choose one where the eyes are cloudy.

As the fish are usually weighed whole, you will pay for the whole fish, so why not take the head and bones as well and make a delicious fish soup with them? The fishmonger will fillet the fish for you and remove all the bones.

Taiwanese Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet

This dish can be made as a meal for one, multiplied for as many diners as required, or used as a platter in a larger meal that offers several dishes.

A Meal for One: This Taiwanese Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet recipe may be used as a meal for one. Just pop some rice in the rice-cooker as you begin preparation and it will be cooked and ready when the fillet is cooked. Add some salad or vegetables and you have a healthy, well-balanced meal. When I prepared this meal I was in a hurry, so served it with gluten-free rice spirals, as they were quicker than the rice. Then I just added a tossed side salad.

Part of a Meal: True Taiwanese meals rarely consist of just one main dish, so it is more likely that this Taiwanese Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet recipe is designed to be shared as one of several platters. We westerners usually begin our meal with soup, but in Taiwan the final course of a meal is often the soup which can be enjoyed in a more leisurely fashion when the hunger pangs have been satiated. The final course may also be fruit.

Some Variations:

  • The way I made the dish I omitted the chili, but many people like a little heat in their meals and a suggestion for this is added in the recipe.
  • If you do not like the wine vinegar, you can substitute pineapple juice - and even add some of the pineapple pieces from the tin if you wish.
  • I have made this recipe gluten free, but if that doesn't bother you, wheaten flour can be substituted for the sweet potato flour.
  • This recipe tastes quite good without the added sugar.
  • The fish may be deep fried in a larger quantity of oil.
Mix the Coating Ingredients Together in a Bowl

Mix the Coating Ingredients Together in a Bowl

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

8 min

23 min

Serves one person or makes one of several dishes

Fry the Coated Fish Pieces Until Golden

Fry the Coated Fish Pieces Until Golden


  • 1 fish fillet, boneless
  • 1 egg
  • 3 dessertspoons sweet potato flour
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped finely
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped in fine strips
  • ½ teaspoon root ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free chicken stock powder, mixed with ½ cup water
  • 1 dessertspoon ketchup
  • 2 dessertspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons brown sugar, (if omitted, it still tastes good)
  • 1½ teaspoons cornflour, mixed with 2 dessertspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 dessertspoons garlic chives leaves, chopped
Thicken the Sauce with Cornflour

Thicken the Sauce with Cornflour


  1. Slice the fish into thin strips.
  2. Mix together the egg, sweet potato flour, soy sauce and garlic.
  3. Coat the fish with this mixture.
  4. Heat the oil and then fry the fish in it until a golden colour. Drain the fish and place on a serving plate.
  5. In a little of the remaining oil, lightly fry the onion and ginger. Some chopped red chili may be added if desired.
  6. Add the chicken stock, ketchup, rice wine and brown sugar. Bring to the boil and thicken with the cornflour mixture, stirring to avoid lumps. Taste and add pinch of salt if required.
  7. Add the sesame oil just before removing from the heat. Pour the sauce over the fish and garnish with the chives.
  8. Serve with steamed rice and vegetables.
Serve for One or on a Platter as One Dish Among Several

Serve for One or on a Platter as One Dish Among Several


The photo above is missing the garlic chives garnish. I had eaten the dish before I realized that the final photograph was blurred! It tasted great.

My apology.

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Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on May 22, 2013:

Lady Fiddler: Lovely! I hope you do try it and that you enjoy it, too. Thank you for your comments.

Joanna Chandler from On Planet Earth on May 21, 2013:

LOOKS divine I will be trying this sometime in the near future.

Love the pics that illustrates the recipe very well.

Thanks sweedie

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on April 29, 2013:

Marcia Ours: Tastes that way, too. Hope you enjoy!

Marcia Ours on April 28, 2013:

Sounds and looks delicious!

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on April 25, 2013:

billybuc: Hope you enjoy it!

WillStarr: It is.

phdast7: Thank you for your lovely comments. I haven't been diagnosed as needing gluten free, but I find my tummy is happier when I cook that way.

Mhatter99: A pleasure.

Frank Atanacio: Some of my Chinese friends also prefer pineapple to vinegar. Five stars! Wow!

prettynutjob30: I hope you do try it. We're told we should eat fish at least three times a week for our health, so I hope this works and tastes good for you.

kidscrafts: The flour is good - it helps to make the fish crunchy, which I like.

ubaid86: It's always a pleasure to be able to share things that I enjoy. Blessings and I hope you like it, too.

Annie Miller: So many Asian recipes are healthy as well as being flavoursome, so I hope you enjoy it when you try.

Faith Reaper: Bless you! That is true. When we travel we find all sorts of recipes and foods that we would not normally try to while we might decide that the saying, "Try anything once" is enough, many are delicious.

shiningirisheyes: Thank you for your lovely comments. It's always fun trying new things and this one is a favourite with me.

Shining Irish Eyes from Upstate, New York on April 25, 2013:

Blossom - What are huge fish eaters . Both look great but the fried fish pieces would be my favorite. Thanks for the share.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on April 24, 2013:

Looks delicious. Your many travels have an added bonus with sharing recipes too!

Voted up ++++ and sharing

God bless, Faith Reaper

Annie Miller from Wichita Falls, Texas on April 24, 2013:

We eat a lot of fish and I truly love Asian inspired recipes. I am definitely going to try this the next time I prepare fish. Thanks for an inspiring Hub, Blossom!

ubaidh86 on April 24, 2013:

@BlossomSB: Hmmm... That's a delicious recipe, looking forward to try it.. Thanks a lot for sharing, blessings.! :)

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on April 24, 2013:

Thank you for sharing this interesting recipe! I didn't know that sweet potato flour even existed! Very interesting!

Mary from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet. on April 24, 2013:

This looks yummy, voted up and shared. I will have to give this recipe a try, I sometimes have a hard time eating fish because it sometimes taste a little bitter to me.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on April 24, 2013:

Blossoms this looks easy to make but I think the pineapple juice will suit me.. what say you? Thanks for the share hit it with five stars!!!!!

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on April 24, 2013:

Thank you for this.

Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on April 23, 2013:

Blossom - This sounds and looks wonderful and I love that it is gluten free - so many people have food allergies today. I don't have many fish recipes, so I think I will add this to my repertoire. Great pictures too. Sharing. Theresa

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on April 23, 2013:

Wow! This sounds great!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 23, 2013:

Well that's a new one I have never heard of and certainly never tried. Thanks for the recipe. :)

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