Crispy Tilapia with Ginger-Scallion Sauce | #FishFridayFoodies

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Let me warn you, this Crispy Tilapia with Ginger-Scallion Sauce is not necessarily pretty. It might actually creep you out. Look away if if you are squeamish. 

However, it is completely freaking amazing!

Crispy Tilapia with Ginger-Scallion Sauce from Karen's Kitchen Stories

This month, the theme for the Fish Fridays Foodies group is Fried Fish. It was chosen by April of Angel’s Home Sweet Homestead. We could do deep or pan fried. I have a delicious and elegant pan fried halibut filet recipe with zucchini that I’ve never posted.. buuuuut…. I tend to be distracted by shiny things….

After my first experience making my first whole fish for this post, I thought I’d try frying a whole fish. I don’t know why, because I am typically terrified by deep frying, and I hate throwing out so much oil.

This fish is worth all of the hassle. It is so succulent and moist, and just crazy good.

Crispy Tilapia with Ginger-Scallion Sauce from Karen's Kitchen Stories

This fish is briefly marinated in a mixture of ginger, sugar, and sesame oil, which is rubbed all over the fish. It is then brushed with a flour, cornstarch, and baking soda coating, and then fried in a couple of inches of hot oil. Once it’s fully cooked, it’s drenched with a delicious ginger scallion sauce.

I found this amazing Asian supermarket loaded with fish tanks full of live fish (I am totally in love with this place). You tell them how you want it prepared based on a number. “Number one” means you just want it cleaned. There are also numbers two through six. The sign is in various languages, with an illustration of the various options. You can see the sign hanging above the fishmonger’s head in the photo below. There are also bins of live crustaceans and fish on ice, for which I haven’t quite figured out the etiquette and process.

Crispy Tilapia with Ginger-Scallion Sauce from Karen's Kitchen Stories

I took my number, ordered my fish, and then watched the guy fish it out of the tank and throw it on the floor. At this point, I looked away. He then took it over to the counter that you can see here and cleaned it.

Here’s my fish with the sesame oil and ginger marinade…

Crispy Tilapia with Ginger-Scallion Sauce from Karen's Kitchen Stories

Would you like to join Fish Friday Foodies? We post and share new seafood/fish recipes on the third Friday of the month. To join our group please email Wendy at our Facebook page and Pinterest page for more wonderful fish and seafood recipe ideas.

Did I mention that this fish was ridiculously tasty? It was soooo good!

Crispy Tilapia with Ginger-Scallion Sauce

Serves two



1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon minced ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup chicken broth/stock

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 finely chopped scallion


1 1/2 pound whole tilapia, cleaned

2 1/8 teaspoons salt, divided

2 teaspoons minced ginger

1/8 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

2 scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon oil

Oil for frying


To make the sauce:

  1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium high heat. 
  2. Add the ginger and garlic and stir for a minute. 
  3. Add the chicken stock, vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To make the fish:

  1. Make three cuts across the body of the fish on both sides as illustrated in the photo above. The cuts should be almost down to the bone. 
  2. Combine two teaspoons of the salt with the ginger, sugar, and sesame oil. Rub the mixture all over the fish, both inside and outside.
  3. Stuff the fish cavity with the scallion pieces.  Let marinate for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. 
  4. Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, water, oil, and the rest of the salt in a bowl. Brush both sides of the fish with the mixture. 
  5. Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees F in a wok or a Dutch oven. 
  6. Add the fish to the oil, and fry for 6 to 7 minutes. Turn the fish over, and fry for 6 to 7 minutes more. 
  7. Place the fish on a paper towel lined platter to drain. Enjoy!

Check out the rest of the #FishFridayFoodies fried fish posts. 

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