Healthy Sweet and Sour Fish

How do you guys feel about fish?

Sweet and sour fish in a skillet.

You like it. I knew it.

Better question: how do you feel about Lost? As in the TV show Lost that came out 8 years ago that I just started watching last week, in 2013.

I’ve always said I didn’t want to watch it because of the plane crash. I get weird about plane crashes. The real ones, the in-my-mind ones, the Hollywood ones, all of em. Like every time I’m in airplane, I think about that scene with Tom Hanks in Castaway that I watched in middle school. Where the plane crashes.

But yeah, for sure! Let’s watch a TV show based entirely around a plane crash. This is what living in a foreign country does to my reasoning.

Sweet and sour fish in a skillet.

This is not the first time I’ve fallen in love with a show 15 years after the fact.

In our early married years, it was Jack Bauer and 24. We only ever watched it in the summer at the cabin, which necessitated at least 200 episodes per night.

Then there was The Office. We started at Season One and worked our way through the whole thing over the course of a year, only a decade late. I cried and felt sad for an unnaturally long time after the end of Michael’s last episode. We’ve considered restarting the whole series and watching it all again but that’s not weird, right?

I’ve been known to watch the Biggest Loser, alone, while skipping the gym, and I may or may not have attended Biggest Loser parties involving large amounts of deep dish chocolate chip cookies and such. I mad crushed on Prison Break for every second of Season One but then things started to get personal when Season Two was set in prisons abroad. Crush = over.

And then there was Downton Abbey. And by Downton Abbey, I mean sleeping. Honestly.

Sweet and sour fish on two plates.

This healthy sweet and sour fish is my new favorite healthy take-out kinda dinner, even though that has nothing to do with TV.

Sweet and sour fish was served at our school Christmas party this year, and I don’t know if I had never tried it? or if I’ve just always been a little shy of fishy Asian dishes? But whoa. It was so addicting.

Is it a Filipino thing? I don’t even know. Doesn’t even matter.

I decided not to fry the fish, therefore making it “healthy”, but check out that first picture! THE FISH WAS AMAZING. Not deep fried, just lightly spiced with cumin and cayenne, and sauteed with some olive oil and onions. It was so soft and delicate, but still perfectly golden browned on the outside, almost like a super light and fake deep fry. Ohhhk. Yes.

Sweet and sour fish on white plates with a fork.

In the name of healthy, I also added extra veggies cause all those vitamins are good for my TV-loving body. Served over a pile of steamy brown rice and garnished with a little extra chili garlic sauce and some sesame seeds? I need healthy to taste good, and this.tastes.good.

Leftover lunches? Done and done.

Microwave broken and had to eat it cold? True story. But that won’t happen to you.

Sweet and sour fish in clear containers.
Healthy Sweet and Sour Fish

Healthy Sweet and Sour Fish

  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8


This healthy sweet and sour fish includes lots of bell peppers and pineapple with the lightly fried fish and sweet and sour sauce.


  • 2 lbs. white fish filets such as tilapia
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 red, yellow, and green peppers (each)
  • 23 cups fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili garlic sauce (more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • cooked brown rice
  • sesame seeds


  1. Fish: Cut the fish into bite-sized pieces and mince 1 onion. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for 1 minute. Add the fish and sprinkle with cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste. Cook, flipping occasionally and draining any excess liquid, for 5-10 minutes or until the pieces are golden brown on the outside and white all the way through. Set aside.
  2. Vegetables: Chop the bell peppers and 1 onion into bite-sized pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet and saute the peppers and onions for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown on the outside and tender-crisp. Chop the pineapple into bite-sized pieces and add to the pan, cooking for another few minutes. Set aside.
  3. Sauce: Combine the vinegar, ketchup, sugar, salt, pineapple juice, orange juice, and sweet chili garlic sauce in a large skillet over medium low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Whisk the cornstarch into a few tablespoons of water until smooth. Add to the sauce in the skillet and bring to a low boil. Cook for a few more minutes until the sauce is thickened.
  4. Combine the fish, vegetables, and sauce (you might not want all of it – just eyeball whatever looks good) in a large pan or bowl. Serve over brown rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds. I liked mine with extra sweet chili garlic sauce.


I only combined half of the veggies with the fish, and reserved the other half so I would have a few vegetarian servings left over. So the recipe, as written, will be pretty heavy on the veggies. Just make adjustments as fits your preferences – more fish, less veggies, etc. If you only used 1 pepper of each color, you’d probably come out with about 6 servings.

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Hawaiian-Inspired

Keywords: sweet and sour fish, healthy fish recipe, pineapple fish

Recipe Card powered by Tasty Recipes logo

See? I knew you guys liked fish.

The post Healthy Sweet and Sour Fish appeared first on Pinch of Yum.

Back to blog