Sweet sour sauce
To cook tilapia escabeche
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
Season the fish
- Rinse the tilapia and pat dry with paper towels.
- Score both sides of the fish.
- Rub the salt and pepper evenly over the entire surface of both fish.
- Place the fish in a covered container and leave to marinate in the fridge for two hours.
Prep the vegetables
- Peel and thinly slice the onion.
- Peel and mince the garlic.
- Peel off and discard the tough outer stalks of the lemongrass then thinly slice the tender portion.
- Peel and julienne the ginger and carrot.
- Cut the bell pepper into halves, scoop out and discard the seeds. Julienne the deseeded bell pepper.
Make the sweet sour sauce
- Stir the vinegar, sugar, salt and tomato sauce in a sauce pan.
- Heat the mixture, stirring often, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Pour in the starch solution and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thick and no longer cloudy.
Cook the vegetables
- Heat a tablespoon of cooking oil in a frying pan.
- Saute the sliced lemongrass, garlic and ginger until aromatic.
- Add the onion, carrot and bell pepper.
- Cook the vegetables just until done (see notes after the recipe). Scoop out and set aside.
Fry the tilapia
- Take the fish out of the fridge and dry with paper towels once more.
- Lighly pound the white portions of the lemongrass before tying each into a knot.
- Stuff the cavity of each tilapia with a knotted lemongrass stalk, and half of the garlic and ginger.
- In a thick-bottomed frying pan, heat enough cooking oil to reach a depth of two inches.
- Lightly coat the tilapia with corn starch; shake off the excess.
- Fry the tilapia, turning them over for even cooking, until golden and crisp.
Assemble the tilapia escabeche
- Arrange the fried tilapia in shallow bowls.
- Drizzle sweet sour sauce over the fish.
- Top with the vegetables and sliced scallions.
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