Carp In Sweet and Sour Sauce (Escabeche)

Carp In Sweet and Sour Sauce (Escabeche)I had the privilege of receiving a 5-pound carp from a kind lady who is my mom-in-law’s friend. One of the things I am grateful about marrying into a Russian family is that most Russians eat fish. Like Filipinos, they eat fish with bones and head. It doesn’t have to be just filleted fish. They even have dried fish but prefer to eat it raw, without broiling or frying them first.

Anyway, of all fishes, carp is my least favorite. It has an odd taste and is a pain to remove the bones. I tried boiling, grilling, and baking but the taste isn’t satisfying. I finally discovered one time that deep frying them, then simmering afterwards in a sweet and sour sauce greatly improves the taste.

So here’s the recipe.

2 lbs carp, cleaned and cut into 1 ½ inch thick
2 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
1 medium red bell pepper
1 medium green bell pepper
1 cup fresh ginger
1 ½ cup carrots
½ onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup distilled white vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp salt (for salting fish)
1 tbsp cornstarch (to thicken sauce)
2 cups water

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Tools You Need:
Chopping Board
Frying pan/Deep fryer
Wok/Deep skillet
Cooking Spoon
Kitchen Tong
Big Plate/Bowl
Paper towels

1. Heat oil in deep skillet/fryer on medium high heat. Wait till it starts to smoke a little. Salt the fish on both sides and fry until golden brown. Drain in paper towels.

DSC_06002. While fish is frying, cut vegetables in strips/julienne.


3. Heat wok and add 2 tbsp oil from fryer. Sauté garlic and onions until slightly browned.


4. Add carrots, bell pepper, and ginger. Sauté veggies for another minute.


5. Add water, soy sauce, vinegar, ground black pepper, and brown sugar. Stir.



6. Place ¼ cup of sauce and dissolve 1 tbsp of cornstarch. Put back into wok.

7. Set to boil and lower heat. Add fried fish, making sure they are at least halfway soaked in the sweet sour sauce. Baste fish with sauce. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

DSC_06258. Serve hot.