RECIPE: Sweet and Sour Fish Time

You don't have to be a Ritz-Carlton chef to really make a good dinner. Tristram Morgan learned cooking for his children how delicious and popular his Sweet and Sour Fish recipe is, making it two weekends in a row so that we could have photos for the website.


• 600g white fish (cod, basa, flake etc.)

• 100g flour (self-raising makes for the crunchiest, but plain or rice flour works too)

• 1 can bamboo shoots (sliced or cubed, either is fine)

• 2 garlic cloves, sliced or chopped

• 2 spring onions, cut into 1-inch sections (or half a red onion, cut into 1-inch squares)

• 1 green pepper, cut into 1-inch squares

• 1 red chili (optional )

• 150ml warm veg stock (fish stick is even better)

• 2 tbsp tomato puree/paste

• 3 tbsp rice vinegar (white wine vinegar at a pinch)

• 2 tsp palm sugar (or soft brown sugar)

• 2 tbsp light soy sauce

• 1 small can pineapple pieces or 1-2 cups fresh diced pineapple (optional)


Cut the fish into bite-sized pieces, sprinkle half the flour over a baking tray, place the fish pieces onto the flour and sprinkle the remaining flour over the top. Turn with a fork to coat the fish in the flour as thoroughly as possible.

Heat some oil in a wok for deep-frying, and when hot, cook the fish pieces in batches of 10-15 at a time (depending on size) until golden and crispy. Place on a plate lines with kitchen towel to drain, keep warm.

Once the fish is cooked, empty out most of the oil (leaving 2-3 tbsp – clean it out and start again if really thick with flour), bring up to heat and throw in the garlic, chili and bamboo shoots. When the bamboo shoots turn colour, throw in the green pepper and spring onion. After about a minute, pour in the stock, tomato puree, sugar, rice vinegar and soy sauce, and bring to a vigorous boil. Add the pineapple, stir through and then add the fish and mix to coat thoroughly.

Serve immediately with jasmine rice.

About Tristram Morgan

Tristram is an entrepreneur in the ethical and sustainable clothing business, a half-time father to two primary school-aged children, occasional writer and erstwhile stand-up comedian, as well as being an enthusiastic experimenter in the kitchen.  He has learned to cook at first through necessity, and later through the desire to regularly eat the kind of food he had previously had dine out for, especially Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese dishes.  After 20 years in the telecommunications industry, wondering how he had ended up doing something which neither excited him n or seemed to be important ('Who would miss it if I didn't do what I do?" was a question he often asked himself) Tristram recently decided to do something he cares passionately about and which does actually make a measurable difference to people's lives.  This is how he came to launch an ethical clothing business earlier this year, which sells only sustainably made clothing approved by the Fair Wear Foundation, while also donating 10% of gross profit to charities helping the severely impoverished to become self-supporting.