What an impressive variation on Chinese sweet and sour recipes. This version uses whole barramundi, and a fresh sauce of your favourite vegetables - though what would this dish be without pieces of sweet pineapple?






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (27 votes)


  • 1 whole barramundi (about 55 cm long), cleaned and gutted
  • oil, for deep-frying
  • plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 500 ml (2 cups) water (or a mixture of water and pineapple juice)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) brown vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • drop of sesame oil
  • salt and pepper
  • onion, capsicum, carrot, Chinese pickled vegetables, pineapple pieces or your favourite vegetables

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Score the flesh of the fish at intervals of about 3 cm on both sides. This will make it easier to cook through. While the oil is heating in a wok or large frying pan, dust fish with the seasoned flour.

Deep-fry the fish, turning once. Remove from the oil and drain, then place on a serving platter.

Combine the water, vinegar, sugar and tomato sauce in a saucepan. Add vegetables and bring to the boil. (If using pineapple pieces, add at the last minute and allow to heat in the sauce before pouring over the fish.)

Make a paste of the cornflour in a little water, then stir into the vinegar and sugar sauce to thicken it. Add sesame oil. Season. Serve with fish.