Sweet and Sour Tilapia

Sweet and sour is a combination that originally came from Asia. Asian food, mostly of Chinese origin, adopted this blend. Based on articles, the Chinese (particularly the Cantonese) were the ones who originally came up with the thought of mixing these two different flavors. This Sweet and Sour Tilapia Recipe is a good example of this.

Sweet and sour fish can be prepared using either fish fillet or whole fish. Grouper (also known as lapu-lapu in the Philippines) is the type of fish commonly used to make this dish. I am using tilapia for this recipe because it is also reasonably priced and it can be easily sourced almost anywhere in the world.

How to Cook Sweet and Sour Tilapia

Making this dish at home is quick and easy. I also liked how tasty and delicious the outcome was.

Start by preparing the dish. Make sure that it is properly cleaned. Make incisions on the side of the fish. Apply Knorr Liquid Seasoning on the incisions and in the cavity. Rub until the entire fish is seasoned completely. This single liquid seasoning works wonders. It provides all the flavors that we need. Give it at least 10 minutes so that the fish absorbs the flavors.

Start the frying process. There is nothing fancy in this step. Simply fry both sides of the fish until it turns golden brown. For beginners, make sure that you have a splatter screen on hand to protect yourself from oil splatters.

Note that it is best to use medium heat. Let time do the work. You know that it is almost done when the crackling sound of the oil subsides.

Remove the fried fish from the pan. Put it on a clean plate. Time to make the sweet and sour sauce.

Making your first sweet and sour sauce can be intimidating considering all of the ingredients that you can see. You’ll be surprised on how simple it is to make one.

Make the sauce by sautéing onion, garlic, and ginger. Add white vinegar and water. Let the liquid boil before adding the tomato ketchup. Stir until well blended. Add sugar and continue stirring until it dissolves into the mixture. Put the carrot and bell peppers. Continue cooking for 3 minutes before adding the slurry (mixture of cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water). The slurry helps thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

You can serve this by arranging the fried fish on a plate and top with sauce. You can also combine the fried fish with the sauce and cook for a couple of minutes before serving.

Aside from tilapia, you can use other fish varieties to cook this dish. Here is my recipe for a sweet and sour version using red snapper.

Try this Sweet and Sour Tilapia recipe and let me know what you think.

Sweet and Sour Tilapia

Crispy Fried Tilapia cooked in a tasty sweet and sour sauce.

Course Main Course

Cuisine Filipino

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Servings 3 people

Calories 1063kcal

Author Vanjo Merano


  • 2 pieces tilapia cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons Knorr Liquid Seasoning
  • 1 piece red bell pepper julienne
  • 1 piece green bell pepper julienne
  • 1 piece carrot julienne
  • 5 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 piece onion sliced
  • 2 thumbs ginger julienne
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups of water
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 8 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 7 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup cooking oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. Apply Knorr Liquid Seasoning all over the tilapia. Let it stand for 10 minutes so that the fish can absorb the flavor of the seasoning.
  2. Heat around 1 cup of cooking oil in a pan. Once the oil gets hot, fry the fish until the color turns golden brown. Flip to fry the opposite side. Remove from the pan. Place on a clean plate. Set aside.
  3. Make the sauce by heating 3 tablespoons of cooking oil in a cooking pot. Saute onion and garlic for 10 seconds. Add ginger. Saute for 12 seconds.
  4. Pour white vinegar and water. Let boil.
  5. Add tomato ketchup. Stir until it completely dilutes in the mixture.
  6. Add sugar. Stir until the sugar gets fully incorporated.
  7. Put carrots and bell peppers. Cook for 3 minutes.
  8. Combine cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water. Mix well. Pour into the cooking pot. Stir until sauce thickens.
  9. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Add a piece of tilapia and cook for 3 minutes.
  10. Transfer to a serving plate. Serve with rice. Share and enjoy!


Calories: 1063kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 94g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1062mg | Potassium: 443mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 4991IU | Vitamin C: 90mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg

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