Pomfret in a pineapple stirfry

I love Chinese-style family meals where you get to sample a bit of everything on a plate.  The centre-piece in most of the family style meals I had as a child was always a fish dish on the bone.  Hubby bought some lovely whole pomfret from an oriental supermarket recently. Unfortunately he forgot to ask the fish monger to gut the fish.  Luckily for him, I used to watch my mum gut fish so it didn’t faze me at all to get the fish prepped and ready for cooking.

The dish I made is essentially a sweet and sour fish dish, but I decided to call it a pineapple stir-fry because I used a whole can of pinepple chunks.  You can use fresh pineapple for a more intense flavour.


  • 2 whole pomfret, gutted, washed and scored
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 coves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 red chilli, sliced
  • 1 can pineapple chunks, reserve juice
  • 50g cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 carrot, sliced thinly
  • 1 stick celery, sliced thinly
  • 1 yellow pepper, cored and sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy
  • a pinch of ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • a handful of chopped coriander for garnish


  1. Marinade the pomfret in turmeric, chilli powder and salt for 15 minutes
  2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan and fry one fish at a time for 3 minutes on each side
  3. Place the fish on a steamer and steam for 5 minutes while you make the pineapply stirfry
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a wok
  5. Fry the shallots and ginger for 1 minute, followed by the garlic and chilli for 1 minute
  6. Toss in all the vegetables and stir-fry for a minute
  7. Add the rice wine and continue cooking for another minute
  8. Pour in the ketchup, chilli sauce, soy and 3 tbsp of the pineapple juice
  9. Mix well, add the water and cook for 2 minutes
  10. Season with salt and white pepper
  11. Pour half the vegetables and sauce on a serving dish
  12. Arrange the fish on top of the vegetables and pour the remaining sauce and veggies on top
  13. Garnish with coriander leaves before serving

I loved the colours in this dish – green, yellow, orange.  The sauce was a combination of sweet and tangy, but very light and was mopped up with plenty of jasmine rice. 

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