Try this easy recipe for a colorful, tangy-sweet Filipino Escabeche or Sweet and Sour Fish and bring your plain fried fish to the next level of goodness.
What is Escabeche?
Escabeche is a dish which is typically made from fish or meat that is marinated and/or cooked in vinegar and some spices. It is a common dish in Spain and other Mediterranean countries but also common in Portugal and France. But the word escabeche actually has a Persian origin.
The dish has been introduced to other Spanish-speaking countries (former Spanish Colonies) and was adjusted or modified locally.
In the Philippines, however, it refers specifically to sweet and sour fish, wherein the fish is first fried and then soaked or marinated in the sweet and sour sauce.
This is actually a conservation technique to enable the dish to last longer.
What fish to use for Escabeche?
In the Philippines, it is common to use Tilapia for Escabeche but you can actually use any fish that is available.
Other fishes commonly used for this dish are red snapper (Maya-maya), grouper (Lapu-lapu). Usually, any fish that are flat and wide and are good for frying should make a wonderful escabeche.
A big fish is typically used for making Escabeche, and Tilapia, being able to meet all the requirements plus being cheaper than the other fishes I mentioned, is the best choice for everyday cooking. Leave the more expensive fishes for the special occasions.
Escabeche- Filipino Sweet & Sour Fish
- 1 whole Tilapia - at least a pound
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ⅓ cup vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch - dissolved in ½ cup water
- ½ cup red bell pepper - cut into strips
- ½ cup green bell pepper - cut into strips
- ½ cup carrots - cut into strips
- ¼ cup ginger - cut into strips
- 1 onion - sliced
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- ½ cup cooking oil for frying
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon salt for seasoning fish
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons ketchup - optional, for coloring
- Season fish with salt. Heat oil in a frying pan and once oil is hot, fry fish one side of at a time until golden brown. Remove fish from pan and place it on a serving plate.
- In a saucepan, saute garlic, ginger, and onion in 2 tablespoon oil. Add carrots and bell peppers. Pour in vinegar and dissolved cornstarch and add sugar and ketchup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer until sauce thickens while stirring occasionally.
- Pour sauce into the fried fish and serve.
My family loves this recipe. My kids are picky when it comes to fish but they love this one. I will cook it again for sure. I have used some of your recipes in the past and I can say you're a life saver. So thank you very much.
Glad your family is enjoying our recipes, Arleen! Thanks for the 5 stars.
Tried this, truly amazing. Instead of katchup I used a packet sazon. Instead of salt and pepper on fish I used pollo asada. I also added pickled jalapenos. I'm eating it as we speak.
I always loved escabeche as a child in the Philippines. This is an excellent recipe, beautiful and delicious!
Thanks for the recipe of how to cook escabeche fish.
Made this today. It was alright. 🤷♀️
Thank you po malaking tulong po ang recipe nyo po❤
Welcome and thanks din for the 5 stars.
I must say, the escabeche recipe you have here is one of the easiest ones to follow. I used red snapper and cooked it as per your instructions. It turned out great and delicious. Thanks for the recipe. Looking forward to try more from your recipe ebook.
Thanks for your lovely comment, Josel.
Thanks for the recipe. Somebody brought me tons of carrots and bell pepper. Shared most of it to neighbors. I am thinking of trying escabeche. Instead of lapulapu or tilapia, can I use dalagang bukid? Thanks again.
Sure you can, Dlagang bukid is good fried but the meat is not as tender or flaky, but can be on the tougher side.
Arvee Buenaobra says
My family loved it..thank you so much😊 I'm learning how to cook😊
I was wondering where did you buy your fish platter? Thanks!
I got it from our local market, there is a store that sells different kinds of stuff and dishes and other wares too...it has no brand.
Nona Adalia says
Hi, im interested with your recipes. Im sure to learn more from this site. Im also excited with the ebook of recipes. Thank you.
I do hope you enjoy and like our recipes, Nona.
Agnes Gabaleo says
Recipes were helpful as a.mother
Great to hear it, Agnes!
Hi ate, i would like to know how to make the candied white beans, do u have a recipe for that?
Hi Hallie, I do not but will look it up and add it to my list...
I love to cook but I need more recipes.
Monsito ILARDE says
I am a widow who tries to learn varied recipes for my children. I just love to cook for them - foods that are not so expensive and good for their health. I like your filipino recipes. I wish you could publish more delicious pinoy recipes which doesn't require much expensive ingredients. Thanks.
That is so nice that you love cooking healthy food for your children. I will try my best to grant your request.?
Love your recipe
thank you sa recipe mo!.. atlast, nakaluto na ako nang masarap na escabeche 😊☺️
Great to hear it. Salamat din sa 5 stars..😘