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Escabeche- Sweet & Sour Fish

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

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.

How to make Escabeche | Foxy Folksy

escabeche or sweet and sour fish

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 Recipe | Foxy Folksy

Escabeche or Sweet and Sour Fish

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5 from 2 votes

Escabeche- Filipino Sweet & Sour Fish

Make this colorful, tangy-sweet Filipino Escabeche or Sweet and Sour Fish and bring your plain fried fish to the next level of goodness.
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian,Filipino,Mediterranean
Keyword: escabeche
Servings: 2
Calories: 720kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 whole Tilapia - - at least a pound
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch - - dissolved in 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper - - cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper - - cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup carrots - - cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup ginger - - cut into strips
  • 1 onion - - sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic - - minced
  • 1/2 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.
Nutrition Facts
Escabeche- Filipino Sweet & Sour Fish
Amount Per Serving
Calories 720 Calories from Fat 567
% Daily Value*
Fat 63g97%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 1193mg50%
Potassium 394mg11%
Carbohydrates 37g12%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 6650IU133%
Vitamin C 85.5mg104%
Calcium 31mg3%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. Hi, im interested with your recipes. Im sure to learn more from this site. Im also excited with the ebook of recipes. Thank you.

  3. 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.

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