Everything you love about sweet and sour is here: vinegar for tang, pineapple for sweetness and acidity, plus fresh chilli for a small kick.






Skill level

Average: 4.5 (3 votes)


  • 1 litre cooking oil
  • 1 orange-spotted grouper fish (see Note)
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • pinch of cornstarch, to thicken
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1 small brown onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple
  • fresh chilli and coriander, to garnish

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.


  1. Heat most of the oil in a large saucepan over low heat until it reaches 190°C on a thermometer.
  2. Clean the fish both inside and out. Remove scales. Make 3 diagonal slits into each side of the fish. Fry fish in oil for 4 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Carefully transfer to paper towel.
  3. To make the sauce mixture, combine vinegar, tomato sauce, sweet chilli sauce, a pinch of salt, cornstarch and cold water in a bowl. Mix well, until a smooth consistency. Set aside.
  4. Heat a little cooking oil in a frying pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook for 1–2 minutes, or until lightly brown.
  5. Add the sauce mixture to the cooked onion and garlic. Add the pineapple pieces and stir into the mixture, for approximately 1 minute.
  6. Place the fish in the centre of a suitable serving dish. Drizzle the sauce on both sides of the plate and over the fish. Garnish with diced fresh chilli and fresh coriander.



• The orange-spotted grouper fish, or lapu lapu, is also known locally as the estuary cod. It can be fished in waters off The Philippines and northern coastlines of Australia.


The Good Cooks premieres on Thursday 8 November at 8.30pm. The series airs Thursdays at 8.30pm (with an encore on Sundays at 6.30pm) on SBS Food (Channel 33). After they air, episodes will stream at SBS On Demand