Nicely fried fish with crisp ginger and garlic would be the highlight of any meals in our house. Always. Yeah, the deep-frying action of a big wet fish might scare the hell out of me, if I were to do it myself. But when it is served in the middle of dining t able, it is the first one to go. would be lying to say that I love steamed fish. I do, but I will take fried fish over steamed fish any day.

The fish is deep-fried till crispy, but the black pomfret that we used here has quite thick meat. The crunch is only skin deep. The inside of the fish is white and soft flakes that is heavenly.

You don’t have to do the whole fish. Fish fillets would do just nice. I

Aside from the perfectly fried fish, I can’t stop myself from nicking and munching on the fried ginger. They are very fragrant and crunchy!

These are the only ingredients needed to cook this fabulous dish. The fish, some ginger and some garlic.

My mother has been insisting on the way that I mince garlic is wrong and wrong. So this is how she does it. She would peel off the skin. Smash them lightly on cutting board.

Chop them up lightly into smaller pieces with a cleaver. That’s the way you do it.

Peel skin off ginger and slice them finely. Try to cut them into even thickness, that would make the frying easier.

Get some lime and rub them all over the fish.

Cut deep slices on both sides of the fish.

Rub some salt on the slices.

And the rest of the fish.

Heat up enough oil to deep-fry the fish. Drop the whole fish into the hot oil, carefully.

Turn the fish halfway through frying to get even cooking.

Look at the beautifully fried fish!

Look at it again. Nicely browned and crisp!

Next step is to prepare the ginger. Heat sesame oil in a wok over medium heat.

When the oil slightly heated, toss in sliced ginger.

Fry the ginger over medium heat, stirring frequently to get even cooking.

The ginger will brown nicely if cook over stable heat.

Halfway through cooking time, toss in the garlic. The secret is to get the garlic cooked at the same time the ginger is cooked. If you worried you are going to burn one of them, cook them separately.

Cook slowly, keep stirring.

Almost done …

Get them off the wok quickly once you spot some browning. The ginger will continually brown once taken off the wok. Better to be undercook than to overcook. They can be really bitter when burnt. That would be mood spoiler!

Serve the ginger and garlic on top of the fried fish. Enjoy with a plate of steamed rice!


Fish with Ginger Deep Fry

Makes 4 servings


500 g whole fish, pomfret or snapper
2 cups cooking oil, for deep-frying fish
1/4 cup sesame oil
150 g ginger, cut into matchsticks
75 g garlic, chopped coarsely


Heat oil in a deep-fry pan big enough to fit the fish. Deep fry till crunchy both sides, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and drain on paper towel.
Heat sesame oil in a wok over medium heat. Stir-fry ginger slices for about 2-3 minutes.
Toss in minced garlic and keep stir-frying for another 3 minutes.
Remove from wok and arrange the ginger and garlic on top of fried fish.
Serve warm with steamed rice.

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30 Responses to “Crisp Fried Fish with Ginger and Garlic”

  1. 1

    Trissa — January 15, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

    I prefer deep fried to steamed any day too! Fried fish is nothing new to me BUT that topping is out of this world!

    • Jun replied: — January 16th, 2011 @ 11:45 pm

      I had no idea that it would turn out kinda interesting in the photos. When we have it for lunch or dinner, it was nothing special. Same old-same old. Haha!

  2. 2

    raiza — January 15, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

    your post at tastespotting looks stunning!

    • Jun replied: — January 16th, 2011 @ 11:51 pm

      Thank you, Raiza!

  3. 3

    Quay Po Cooks — January 15, 2011 @ 9:31 pm

    I love this!! My mum makes this all the time. I can eat the whole fish and all the ginger and garlic! Great snaps!

  4. 4

    Bailey... — January 15, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

    I really love fish, esp with all the ginger on top. Looks fabulous.

  5. 5

    tigerfish — January 15, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

    Used to eat this when I was younger but not anymore :( ..since no one in the family cooks this.

    • Jun replied: — January 16th, 2011 @ 11:54 pm

      I hope you can now enjoy this!

  6. 6

    mycookinghut — January 16, 2011 @ 4:41 am

    I always like the Asian version of fried fish!! So cripsy and yummy! I can smell the ginger and garlic from here!!

  7. 7

    Kulsum at JourneyKitchen — January 16, 2011 @ 5:40 am

    Quiet intrigued with idea of frying ginger and garlic, I bet it goes well with almost anything. Going to try it, but ofcourse I can never master the art of slicing the ginger so finely ha :)

    • Jun replied: — January 16th, 2011 @ 11:42 pm

      The ginger slices are really not that fine. They were really much bigger slices than they looked. They shrunk a great deal after frying. :)

  8. 8

    Ju — January 16, 2011 @ 5:46 am

    The aroma must be out of this world. The great thing about deepfried is that even the bones become crunchy and yummy. PS: How do you mince your garlic that your mum insist is wrong? I am curious! ;)

    • Jun replied: — January 16th, 2011 @ 11:43 pm

      I peel the garlic, then slice them up into thin slices, then chop them off with smaller knife. LOL. She insisted that the garlic is much better pounded with pestle or back of cleaver.

  9. 9

    Borislava — January 16, 2011 @ 6:52 am

    This topping is absolutely new for me…how come a simple idea like this never crossed my mind? I adore ginger and garlic, and have to try this asap!
    Incredible gorgeous photos, Jun!

    • Jun replied: — January 16th, 2011 @ 11:53 pm

      Thank you so much for the kind comment!

  10. 10

    Gertrude — January 16, 2011 @ 7:58 am

    My mom used to make this fried fish for us too for us to eat with our rice porridge but she usually put the ginger and garlic into the fish when it is nearly done frying.

    • Jun replied: — January 16th, 2011 @ 11:47 pm

      Ah that’s a great idea to try!

  11. 11

    Dinewithleny — January 16, 2011 @ 11:09 pm

    Wow this looks so nice. Ginger is so expensive now in Australia =(…the worst is I’m such a big fan of ginger….I’m sure this dish tastes really good. Simply and yummy

    • Jun replied: — January 16th, 2011 @ 11:46 pm

      We are really lucky living in a country where stuff just grows if you throw something on it. We have this big bunch of ginger plants because I threw a big piece of old ginger on the garden a couple of months ago!

  12. 12

    bblossoms — January 16, 2011 @ 11:34 pm

    I want this dish for my dinner. I have never seen fish done this way before. Thanks for the idea, I love a simple dish like this!

    • Jun replied: — January 16th, 2011 @ 11:54 pm

      My mother and grandmother are really awesome!

  13. 13

    Julie — January 17, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

    it looks delicious. 1 question though. Will the fish taste sour once fried? U know.. since we have to rub it with lime b4 tht. I am very curious as this is something new to me.

  14. 14

    TS, eatingclub vancouver — January 17, 2011 @ 11:36 pm

    Oh my, I haven’t had deep-fried pomfret in such a long time! DROOOOOOOL.

  15. 15

    Maria @ Scandifoodie — January 18, 2011 @ 1:29 am

    I always think a whole fish served like this looks so impressive! Love the flavours :-)

  16. 16

    noobcook — January 18, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

    you have incredible skill both in photography and cooking. I love this amount of fried ginger!

  17. 17

    Arudhi@aboxofkitchen — January 19, 2011 @ 4:07 am

    This is my first time knowing about frying ginger in sesame oil. New to me! Thanks, Jun! I will try that topping for grilled or steamed fish.

  18. 18

    Tuty — January 19, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

    The leftover oil (after the ginger and garlic were fried) must be heavenly delicious… I’d love to dip some steamed chicken or steam fish with that oil too.

    Lovely pix, Jun.

  19. 19

    宝宝塘美国代购网 — August 31, 2013 @ 8:42 pm

    your post looks so good, but this recipe i will not try, i like steam fish

  20. 20

    Geraline — June 19, 2014 @ 11:40 pm

    I make this fried fish a week ago and it was so good . Your blog is one of my all time fav . Took a picture of it before eating and post it on facebook my friends were so amaze . it tasted so delicious . YumYum

  21. 21

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