Sweet & Sour Blue Eye

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Balance and Harmony

By Neil Perry

Published 2008

  • About

Very simple to make — you just deep-fry the fish, make the sauce and toss it all together.

I was never a big fan of sweet and sour fish at restaurants, but there is something nice about it when the fish is spanking fresh and the pineapple isn’t tinned.


  • 300 g (10½ oz) blue eye, skin removed and thickly sliced
  • tablespoons shaoxing
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 30 g (1 oz/¼ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • ½ knob of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 spring onions (scallions), cut into 4 cm ( inch) lengths
  • ½ red capsicum (pepper), cut into large dice
  • ½ green capsicum (pepper), cut into large dice
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) fresh chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Chinese red vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce (ketchup)
  • 80 g ( oz/½ cup) roughly chopped fresh pineapple
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 small handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves


Mix together the blue eye, ½ tablespoon of shaoxing and the sea salt in a bowl and leave to marinate for 30 minutes. Beat the egg and flour with about 2 tablespoons water until you have a light batter.

Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fryer until just smoking (180°C/350°F). Dip the fish in the batter and carefully drop into the wok in batches, deep-frying until golden, then remove and drain on paper towel. Pour the oil from the wok and wipe clean.

Reheat the wok with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until just smoking and stir-fry the ginger, spring onions and capsicums until fragrant. Deglaze with the remaining shaoxing, and then add the stock, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and tomato sauce. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until thickened slightly. Add the pineapple and fish pieces and cook for 30 seconds more. Spoon onto a plate and sprinkle with the sesame oil and coriander leaves to serve.