Chinese Pan Fried Fish with Soy Sauce

5.0 from 53 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Serves: 2


  • 250 gram firm white fish fillet, such as red snapper, tilapia, rockfish, flounder, cod, etc.
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground pepper
  • corn starch, to dust the fish (Note 1)
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, cut into small pieces (or roughly minced)
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, sliced diagonally
  • Sauce for Chinese fried fish
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce (Note 2)
  • 2 teaspoon sugar


  1. Pat dry the fish really well, especially so if you use thawed frozen fish fillet. Scatter a pinch of salt and ground pepper on the fish. Dust with corn starch (or all-purpose flour) to coat the fish so it won't stick when fried on the pan. Shake to remove excess starch/flour, and set aside.
  2. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat frying pan on high heat until you see a thin wisp of smoke. Add oil and swirl to coat the pan, stir fry garlic, ginger, and scallion until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, fry the fish for 5 minutes on each side. Flip the fish once at the end of 5 minutes, or once edges of the fish have browned. Otherwise, the fish will stick to the pan. Set the fish on a serving plate.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium and pour the sauce into the pan. Once it bubbles a bit, return the garlic, ginger, and scallion into the sauce. Cook for a minute. Pour the sauce onto the fish. Serve immediately with steamed white rice.


  • (1) You can also use all-purpose flour to dust the fish if you don't need the dish to be gluten-free.
  • (2) You can also use regular soy sauce, preferably less-sodium version, if you don't have light soy sauce. If you must, you can also use dark soy sauce but do add salt to suit your taste since dark soy sauce is less salty compared to light soy sauce or regular soy sauce.

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