Today’s recipe, Sweet and Sour Fish and Vegetable Stir-fry is a quick and easy main dish. The star of today’s dish is the sauce. My sweet and sour sauce contains far less ingredients than most of the sweet and sour recipes you’ll find on the internet. It is even simpler than my Sweet and Sour Pork Meatballs recipe.
When I hear the word ‘Sweet & Sour’, I think of the dish, Sweet and Sour Pork (Subuta), which is a classic stir-fry dish from China. But today’s dish is a fish version of Sweet and Sour Pork, with light and plain sauce.
The sweet and sour sauce in today’s recipe is made with 5 pantry staples. I made the sauce less complex so that you can enjoy the delicate flavour of the fish.
If you are a vegetarian, you can substitute the fish with diced fried tofu or small tofu puffs. You can also omit protein and make it a vegetable stir-fry if you prefer.
What’s in my Sweet and Sour Fish and Vegetable Stir-fry
- Fish fillet
- Pearl oyster mushrooms
- Corn flour/cornstarch
- Oil to stir-fry
For this dish, I recommend using white flesh fish fillet. Since the fish pieces will be pan-fried, then mixed with vegetables, you also want to use fish fillets with a firm texture. I used swordfish today because I had an extra fillet in the fridge from when I made the Swordfish Teriyaki Recipe. But you can use other fish fillets with a sufficient thickness such as cod, flathead, and large snapper.
The mushrooms can be shiitake mushrooms or shimeji mushrooms.
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Soy sauce
- Rice wine vinegar
- Corn flour/cornstarch diluted in water to thicken the sauce
Today’s sweet and sour sauce is slightly different from the sauce in my Sweet and Sour Pork Meatballs recipe. I didn’t use chicken stock powder and sesame oil. The flavour of today’s sauce is plainer than a Chinese-style sweet and sour sauce.
How to Make Sweet and Sour Fish and Vegetable Stir-fry
The process of making Sweet and Sour Stir-fry dish is quite similar to most sweet and sour stir-fry recipes, even if the main ingredients are different and the sauces are slightly different. Prepare ingredients, cook protein ingredients, stir-fry everything, add sauce, and thicken the sauce. See the video.
- Cut vegetables and fish fillet into bite-size pieces.
- Boil carrot.
- Mix the Sweet and Sour Sauce ingredients excluding corn flour/cornstarch diluted in water.
- Dust the fish pieces in corn flour/corn starch.
- Pan-fry the fish pieces.
- Stir-fry vegetables, then add fish pieces.
- Add the Sweet and Sour Sauce, mix, then stir in the corn flour/cornstarch diluted in water to thicken the sauce.
It is important not to cook the vegetables too much. You want to retain the crunchy texture of the vegetables – this gives you a sense of freshness. By pan-frying the fish coated in corn flour/cornstarch, each piece of fish does not break easily while being stir-fried.
Sweet and Sour Fish and Vegetable Stir-fry is a quick dish to cook. Pan-frying the fish takes only about 5 minutes and stir-frying takes a few minutes. So, it will take less than 10 minutes to cook Sweet and Sour Fish and Vegetable Stir-fry.
You can keep Sweet and Sour Fish and Vegetable Stir-fry in the fridge for a couple of days, and the flavour does not deteriorate. The only downside is that the capsicum pieces discolour and it becomes moss green colour, which is not as appetising as the bright green colour.
I like the clean and light flavour of the sweet and sour sauce. It is quite addictive.
Watch How To Make It
Sweet and Sour Fish and Vegetable Stir-fry is a quick and easy dish. The star of today’s dish is the sweet and sour sauce, and my sauce contains far less ingredients than most of the sweet and sour recipes you’ll find on the internet. Watch the video.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
- 300g swordfish fillet or cutlet (note 1)
- 80g carrot
- 80g capsicum
- 80g onion
- 50g pearl oyster mushrooms (note 2)
- 2½ tbsp oil (separated)
- 1 tbsp corn flour/cornstarch
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 3⅓ tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp ketchup
- 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp corn flour/cornstarch diluted in 1 tbsp water
Cut swordfish into a large bite-size pieces.
Cut carrot randomly using the rangiri method into bite-size pieces. Blanch them for a few minutes until they are almost cooked through, then drain.
Cut the capsicum vertically into about 3cm wide strips, then cut each strip diagonally into bite-size pieces.
Halve the onion vertically if it is a whole onion, then halve horizontally. Cut each quarter vertically into 2.5cm wide pieces.
Trim off the base of the mushroom cluster, leaving the cluster still intact. Separate the cluster into small bunches of a few stems. (note 2)
Put all the Sweet and Sour ingredients, excluding corn flour/cornstarch diluted in water, in a jar or a bowl. Mix well until lump free.
Put the fish pieces and corn flour/cornstarch (not the one diluted in water) in a bowl and dust the swordfish pieces thoroughly (note 3).
Heat 1½ tablespoons of oil in a deep-frying pan over medium heat.
Place the swordfish pieces in the pan and cook for about 1.5-2 minutes until the surface is slightly browned. Turn them over and cook further 1.5-2 minutes until they are almost cooked through (note 4).
Rotate the fish pieces to quickly cook the sides of each piece where possible. This will make sure that the corn flour/cornstarch on the side of the fish pieces is cooked.
Transfer the fish to a plate.
Wipe the frying pan with kitchen paper and add the remaining oil to the pan. Heat over medium high heat.
Put all the vegetables in the pan and stir-fry for about 3 minutes until the surface of the vegetable pieces start browning.
Add the swordfish pieces to the pan and gently mix.
Pour the Sweet and Sour Sauce into the pan, gently stir for about 20 seconds.
Pour the corn flour/cornstarch with water to the pan, drawing a ring to spread it evenly. Quickly, but gently, mix it into the sauce. When the sauce is thickened and there is no white patch of corn flour/cornstarch (note 5), remove the pan from the heat.
1. My swordfish was about 2cm thick.
You don’t have to use swordfish. A white flesh fillet with a firm texture is best suited for today’s dish. It is good to have a fish fillet with a sufficient thickness such as cod, flathead, or large snapper.
2. Most sweet and sour dishes use shiitake mushrooms, and you can of course use them as a substitute. I had so many pearl oyster mushrooms in the fridge at the time, so I used them.
If you are using shiitake mushrooms, halve or quarter vertically depending on the size of your mushrooms.
3. Alternatively, put them in a plastic bag and shake the bag to coat the fish pieces with corn flour/cornstarch.
4. Press the centre of the fish piece to see if the flesh is firm. If soft, the inside is still not cooked.
5. It will take only about 10-15 seconds. When corn flour/cornstarch is cooked, it becomes transparent.
6. You can keep Sweet and Sour Fish and Vegetable Stir-fry in the fridge for a couple of days, and the flavour does not deteriorate. The only downside is that the capsicum pieces discolour and it becomes moss green colour.
7. Nutrition per serving.
serving: 405g calories: 573kcal fat: 28g (36%) saturated fat: 3.7g (19%) trans fat: 0.2g polyunsaturated fat: 5g monounsaturated fat: 17g cholesterol: 99mg (33%) sodium: 1269mg (55%) carbohydrates: 47g (17%) dietary fibre: 3.7g (13%) sugar: 32g protein: 34g vitamin D: 21mcg (105%) calcium: 49mg (4%) iron: 2.1mg (12%) potassium: 1220mg (26%)
A typical Japanese meal consists of a main dish, a couple of side dishes, a soup and rice. I try to come up with a combination of dishes with a variety of flavours, colours, textures and make-ahead dishes.
Today’s main dish has a sweet flavour, so I think it should be accompanied by a dish with savoury light flavour. I picked chilled tofu for Side dish 1.
Since the main dish contains a good amount of vegetables, I don’t need to pick a dish with many different kinds of vegetables either. Pickled cucumber would be perfect for Side dish 2 to go with Sweet and Sour Fish and Vegetable Stir-fry.
- Main: Sweet and Sour fish and Vegetable Stir-fry – today’s recipe, you can make ahead.
- Side dish 1: Chilled Tofu (Hiyayakko) 4 Ways – any topping except Miso Eggplant topping is OK.
- Side dish 2: Japanese Pickled Cucumbers – two ways – either pickling option is fine.
- Soup: Miso Soup of your choice from Miso Soup Ingredient Combinations or your favourite ingredients.
- Rice: Cooked Rice.
I made this recipe with swordfish as you did and it was soooooo delicious! I served it with miso soup, rice, and some shiso furikake asadzuke cucumbers and it was amazing.
Hi Kanmuri, great dish combo! I’m glad you liked it.
Love your recipes.
I bought a packet of Shiokonbu (says seasoned seaweed.. )do you have any recipe I can follow on your page using it? I have this habit of buying new stuff to try.
Thanks a lot in advance .
Hi Poornima, I have a couple of recipes using shio konbu – Cabbage Salad Tossed in Shio Konbu and Sauteed Potato in shio Konbu.
Thank you very much😁