Sweet and spicy talakitok in a flash

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author Connie Veneracion


  • 1 talakitok mine weighed 800 grams, cleaned and gutted
  • salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried garlic bits
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion bits
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • enough oil for deep frying
  • 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro for garnish (optional but recommended)


  • Pat the fish dry with absorbent kitchen paper. Score diagonally–two to three incisions on either side.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the salt (how much depends on the size of your fish), garlic, onion, basil and parsley. Insert some of the mixture into the slits on either side of the fish, as much as can be inserted without tearing the fish’s flesh and skin. Rub the remainder all over the fish.
  • Heat enough cooking oil to submerge the fish. Coat the fish lightly with flour. When the oil is hot (should be smoking), deep fry the fish until golden brown. When done, lift the fish from the oil, letting the excess oil drip into the frying pan. Place the fish on a serving platter.
  • In a small sauce pan, mix together the ingredients for the sweet and spicy sauce. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sauce thickens and loses its cloudy appearance.
  • Pour the sauce over the fish. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro before serving.


For the sweet and spicy sauce :
1 cup of water
2 heaping tbsps. of white sugar
1 tsp. of salt
3-4 tbsps. of tomato ketchup
1 tsp. of dried garlic bits
1 tsp. of dried onion bits
1 tsp. of dried chili flakes
1 tsp. of corn or tapioca starch
1/2 tsp. of sesame seed oil