Fried Pomfret with Soy & Garlic

When it comes to frying fish, I have to say that my late grandma did it best. She somehow manages to fry it and keep it on the table for a while until everyone has gathered round, yet the fish remains crispy and not at all greasy! I’m still not sure how she did it but according to what I’ve read, it’s got something to do with high heat, lots of oil and the wok she used.

Anyhow, I still haven’t quite gotten it as perfect as she did but I’m pretty glad with my own fried pomfret dish. One thing about this fish is that the flesh is more delicate than salmon, very tender and almost buttery. Steaming it is one of the best ways to enjoy that sweet soft flesh. But when I haven’t got the time to wait for dinner (ehem… stomach rumbling and such), flash frying retains the moistness of the flesh while crisping up the skin. Coupl that with a nice salty sauce and we’re in business.

So for this, we obviously need Pomfret. It works with pomfret of all weights and sizes. Just make sure to extend the cooking time a bit if its bigger.

For the sauce, I used some fried garlic (oil reserved), soy sauce, kecap manis & mirin.

To prep the fish, all I did was mix a little cornstarch with salt and ground pepper. Then I gave the fish a light dusting. This is just an extra step to achieve a little more crispiness and to give the fish a bit of flavour.

I fried it for about 7-8 minutes per side on Medium High heat. I obviously stepped away for a moment too long but then the flesh was still perfectly tender and moist.

For the sauce, I mixed up the soy, mirin & kecap manis. Gave it a quick simmer and poured it over the fish. Then with the reserved garlic oil, I drizzled on some and scattered the garlic on.

This took me about 20 minutes from prep to the table. Meanwhile I cooked the rice, prepped some veggies and we were all ready to eat within the 1/2 hour. My favourite part is the crispy head. Don’t cringe! 🙂

Like my Soy Limang Terung‘s sauce, this simple soy mirin sauce is good, very good, with rice. I love having very simple sauces in my repertoire just so I can drizzle it over just about anything to make it appetizing and savoury. Do you have something simple like this to spruce up ordinary dishes?





“Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.” (Romans 12:17)

Fried Pomfret with Soy & Garlic
serves 2


1 pomfret fish (about 400 gms)
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 cup Vegetable Oil, separated use
1/4 cups Cornstarch
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp ground Black Pepper
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Kecap Manis
1 tbsp Mirin
1 tbsp Water

  1. Fry mince garlic with about 3 tbsp oil until lightly golden and set fried garlic and oil aside in separate bowls to prevent fried garlic from becoming soggy.
  2. Clean and pat the pomfret dry.
  3. Heat up remainder oil in a frying pan on MEDIUM HIGH.
  4. On a plate, mix up cornstarch, salt and pepper. Rub pomfret with cornstarch mixture and dust off extras.
  5. Fry pomfret until golden on both sides, about 8 minutes per side. Check by pricking fish with a chopstick and fork. If it gives little resistance, it’s done.
  6. Lay fish on some paper towels while making sauce.
  7. Drain all the oil from frying pan and wipe remnants of oil out with a paper towel. Pour in soy, kecap manis, mirin and water. Bring it to a simmer for 1/2 minute.
  8. Plate up fish and pour sauce over. Spoon over about 1 tbsp reserved garlic oil and scatter over the golden bits of fried garlic.
  9. Serve with steaming hot rice and stirfried veggies.

*Leftover garlic oil can be saved to be drizzled over pasta, salad or even for garlic bread.


  1. I would eat that in half of a heartbeat. That sauce looks killer. I’ll have to try that with some type of fish over here. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Melanie. This method goes with any kind of fish fillet you can get, but preferable non-oily fishes. Halibut, red snapper, Dory, carp, grouper… They would all work. Hope this works out for you. 🙂 Quick and easy dish on a weeknight.

  2. I’ve never seen pomfret, but this Asian sauce would be fantastic on so many fish! Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe 🙂


  1. […] thing to do is to fry up some garlic slices. You can do it with mince but I kinda like how they look […]

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