Pan-Fried Fish in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes
Cooking Time: 16 Minutes

Fresh fish is perhaps one of the healthiest foods that can be cooked quickly in a wok. Here the fish is served with a simple tomato sauce that is just as quick to make. Olive oil is the perfect complement to tomatoes.


  • 450g (1 lb) boneless, firm white fish fillets, such as cod, sea bass or halibut, skinned and divided into 4 equal pieces
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 450g (1 lb) tinned whole tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chilli bean sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar


  • handful fresh basil leaves


  1. Pat the fish dry with kitchen paper. Sprinkle evenly with the salt and pepper and dust with flour, shaking off any excess. Drain the tomatoes, reserving the juice, and chop the flesh into small chunks. Measure the amount of juice, keep half and set aside. Discard the rest.
  2. Heat a wok over high heat until it is hot. Add the olive oil, and when it is moderately hot, add the fish fillets and pan-fry them for 3-5 Minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Then turn them over and brown the other side (this will also take about 3-5 Minutes). When cooked, remove and drain on kitchen paper. Turn onto a warm platter.
  3. Now make the sauce. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the wok, add the garlic and shallots, and stir-fry for 1 minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes, the reserved tomato juice, rice wine or sherry, soy sauce, chilli bean sauce and sugar, and simmer for 5 Minutes.
  5. Pour the sauce over the fish, garnish with the basil and serve at once.