Sweet sour fish may not be a typical Chinese New Year dish but we cannot deny that this dish is a popular selection during Chinese New Year gatherings. In most Chinese New Year dinners, having a whole fish as one of the dishes is crucially important as it positively represents "surplus" for the new year. In the Chinese language, fish is known as 'yu' and it sounds very similar to the word 'surplus' in the Chinese language. Meanwhile, using the whole fish symbolizes "completeness" from the beginning till the end of the year. Besides that, the colourful vegetables and redness in the gravy adds to the attractiveness of the dish.
The gravy has a great balance of sweet and sour factors with a tinge of spiciness to tantalize the tastebuds. As the fish is fried, the crispiness of the skin coated with the saucy gravy makes every mouthful a delight. Of course, baking the fish would be a healthier option as it uses less oil. If you wish, you may even add fresh tomatoes to this dish.
To some cultures, using the whole fish might be a little too uncomfortable. Therefore, feel free to use some fish filets instead. It will taste just as delicious. Enjoy it with steaming white rice.
Sweet Sour Fish is also known as: 糖醋鱼
Score fish on both sides. Marinate fish with salt, pepper and Shaoxing wine for 15 minutes.
Heat wok at high heat and pour in 2.5 cups of oil. Coat fish with corn flour. Fry fish into a wok of hot oil and lower heat to medium on both sides of the fish until golden brown.
To prepare sweet sour gravy, sauté minced garlic and ginger in a wok until fragrant. Add the shallots and red chillies slices. Add capsicums and carrots.
Pour in 1 cup of water along with the tomato sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and vinegar.Allow vegetables to cook until desired softness. Pour gravy on fried fish and serve with steamed white rice.