Follow us:

Filipino Fish Escabeche

Escabeche which refers to poached or fried fish covered with a spicy marinade is another dish brought to the Philippines by the Spaniards. Filipino-Style Fish Escabeche a.k.a. Fish in Sweet and Sour Sauce is made by frying a whole meaty kind of fish, which is commonly Lapu-lapu (Red Grouper),  and topping with sweet and sour sauce with vegetables.

It is another Filipino favorite because of its unique blend of sweet and sour taste that even small children would appreciate and enjoy eating. I just love cooking fish escabeche. Here in the US, red snapper, tilapia and golden pompano are among the fish I have already tried using. The sauce compliments each of them so well!

Another perfect dish for Meatless Friday! Hope you'll find it delish as much as we do...

Prep Time: 15 mins               Cook Time: ~25 mins                Servings: 4                      

  • 2 lbs whole red snapper
  • 1 Tbsp salt 
  • 4 Tbsp light olive oil 
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • ½ cup ginger, julienned
  • ½ cup carrot, julienned 
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  •  ¼ cup carrot, cut into flower shape (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½ cup vinegar (apple cider, cane or white...I use cane)
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup red or green bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp water

1. Clean the fish and slit it open. Let it stand for few minutes and drain well.
2. Rub the whole fish with 1 tbsp salt. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.
3. In a large skillet, heat the oil and fry the fish until brown. Remove the fish from the skillet and set aside.
4. In the same skillet, sauté garlic and ginger until light brown.
5. Add onion and sauté until almost translucent.

6. Stir in celery, carrot and bell pepper.
7. Add soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, black pepper, water and sugar.

8. When the mixture boils, add dissolved cornstarch to thicken. Then, add the fish.

9. Cover the skillet and simmer for 5 minutes.
10. Remove from heat. Serve hot with rice.


  1. Tina, what lovely pictures!!! I love this... and such a great looking recipe. Thanks for linking up to FP - I added your link to the linky -- now that its up and running.

  2. This looks like a fantastic recipe. Wonderful!

  3. You know... we have similar fish dishes in Sicily... I guess it must be the common Spanish heritage! I love sweet and sour and this fish looks delicious! :-)

  4. The fish looks absolutely fabulous!I always try to find new ways to make fish!

  5. Another wonderful dish. I am beginning to believe that I like Filipino cuisine ... great combination of ingredients!

  6. This looks so good! And so pretty too! Thank you for sharing such a delicious and healthy recipe with Feed Me Tweet Me Follow Me Home! The linky is up again for this week so hope to see you there!

  7. Where can I buy red grouper in the us?

    1. It is not common here in the US. I actually haven't found a store selling red grouper here in our area.