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Pan-Fried Fish with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

Super easy, super quick, and truly delicious Thai sweet chili sauce (easier sweet and sour sauce) to go with simple pan-fried fish fillets.

When you are busy but crave for an easy pan-fried fish with a simple sweet and sour sauce, look no further than this recipe for pan-fried fish with Thai sweet chili sauce. It should take about 30 minutes from start to finish to prepare this dish, including pan frying some fish fillet, and preparing the delicious sauce. If you are like me, you will want to make this sauce again and again and pair it with just about anything.

Ingredients for Pan-Fried Fish with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

Which fish fillet to use

To prepare pan-fried fish fillet, you can use any kind of fish with white firm flesh. The cheapest and most widely available fish fillet is tilapia. For a slightly more expansive choice, you can try swai or rock fish. For a more all out fine dining experience, or when you are feeling fancy, you can also use red snapper, cod, or halibut. Depending on the fish fillet thickness, the pan frying time may differ slightly. Just to be clear, the cooking time in the recipe has been tested on tilapia, swai, and rock fish.

Pan-Fried Fish with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

What you need to prepare Thai sweet chili sauce

To make Thai sweet chili sauce, you will need the following ingredients:

Along with garlic, onion, tomato, salt, and sugar. This sauce is similar to sweet and sour sauce, but with a spicy kick. I think this version of sweet and sour sauce is also so much easier to prepare compared to traditional sweet and sour sauce. Like any good sweet and sour sauce, if you happen to like this sauce, feel free to use it with chicken, pork, or even tofu.

Pan-Fried Fish with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

Originally published on November 23, 2015. Updated on April 1, 2019 with new photos.

Pan-Fried Fish with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

5.0 from 6 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Serves: 4


  • Pan-fried fish
  • 650-700 gram any firm white fish fillet (e.g. tilapia, cod)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • flour
  • Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/3 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce, such as sambal oelek
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 2 tablespoon water
  • Garnish
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced


  • Pan-fried fish
    1. Sprinkle fish fillet with salt and pepper, then coat with flour.
    2. Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a frying pan on medium high and pan fry fish fillets until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Set aside in a serving plate.
  • Thai sweet chili sauce
    1. Heat about 2 tablespoon oil in a frying pan (use the same unwashed pan to fry fish) on medium high heat and sauté garlic and onion until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
    2. Add tomato. Mix well, and cook for another minute.
    3. Add Thai sweet chili sauce, water, chili sauce, vinegar, fish sauce, salt, and sugar. Mix well. Bring to a boil. Adjust taste as needed.
    4. Thicken sauce with cornstarch solution. Turn off heat once the sauce has thickened.
    5. Add chopped cilantro and scallions into the sauce. Mix well. Pour the sauce over the fried fish. Serve immediately.


  • phyllis saito says:

    Very tasty sauce! I was looking for something nice and tangy with a little kick. I fried some snapper and it was great and hit the spot perfectly! Thanks!

    • Anita says:

      I love snapper too, especially red snapper. I'm glad you love this recipe Phyllis.

  • Pam says:

    Red snapper is my absolute favorite fish and would be so perfect in this recipe!

  • Tisha says:

    Oh that Thai sweet chili sauce sounds so perfect!!!

  • Luci says:

    This looks absolutely delicious. My family loves fish and spicy food so I'll have to make this.

  • Alexandra @ It's Not Complicated Recipes says:

    Wow, this is such a beautiful dish! I love the sweet chili sauce with it - such a great combination of flavours.

  • Pam Greer says:

    I love the sound of that Thai sweet chili sauce! I usually just use it straight from the jar, but I love all your tasty additions!

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