Tilapia Escabeche (Sweet and Sour Tilapia)


I adapted this recipe from The Food of the Philippines by Reynaldo Alejandro, one of the cookbooks I received as presents from my good friends Carlos and Rodney.  Escabeche  is a popular Spanish-Chinese concotion adapted by Filipinos using local ingredients.  It is normally served with whole fish, deep fried until crunchy and cooked in sweet and sour sauce.   I use fish fillet that is baked instead of deep fried.


  • 250 grams tilapia fillets (about two pieces)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tbs sliced ginger, julienned
  • 1 large bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 cup celery, julienned
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned
  • 4 stems spring onions, chopped
  • 1 tbs flour


  1. Season tilapia fillets with salt. Dip each piece into beaten egg and then into panko bread crumbs.  Spray with cooking spray and place on baking sheet.  Bake at 425F for 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown. Set aside.
  2. To make sauce, mix vinegar, water, sugar and remaining salt and set aside.
  3. In a pan, saute garlic and onion until soft. Add ginger and the vinegar mixture. Bring to a boil then add the vegetables. Thicken with flour (or cornstarch ).
  4. Place fish fillet on serving dish and pour sweet and sour sauce over while still warm.

To thicken with cornstarch, dissolve 1 tsp cornstarch in 2 tbs water. Pour over boiling mixture and stir until thick.

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» Elyse said: { Mar 11, 2009 - 01:03 }

I love the healthy changes you’ve made to this recipe. It sounds delicious. Tilapia is such a great fish for adding lots of different flavors to! Mmmm, I think I need to tab this one right away!

» Kevin said: { Mar 16, 2009 - 07:03 }

That tilapia looks really tasty!

» Carrie said: { Mar 17, 2009 - 08:03 }

This looks really great. That sauce looks amazing!

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