Okay. If you’ve been following my recipe blog, you know that anything that I cook with pineapple I call “Hawaiian-Style.” For me, pineapple is very representative of the islands, in addition to macadamia nuts or macaroni salad (smile) — at least when talking cuisine. In the Philippines, there is a popular way of cooking called “escabeche,” which basically is a dish — usually fish — cooked in sweet and sour sauce. Escabecheng Tilapia (whole fish) is quite common.
This recipe has all the elements of escabeche plus ambiance of Hawaii, represented in the pineapple ingredient. Rather than using whole Tilapia, I use fillets which may be easier to obtain, frozen, from your favorite supermarket.
4 pcs. Tilapia fillets
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 medium tomato, quartered
1 small carrot, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup pineapple chunks
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
4 dried basil leaves
1 cup corn starch, plus an extra tbsp
Olive oil for frying
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsps sweet chili sauce
Pat dry the fillets, season with salt and pepper to taste, coat them with corn starch.In a large pan or wok, heat Olive oil. Fry the tilapia fillets until cooked and browned on either side. Remove from pan and set aside. Using the same pan, heat additional Olive oil. Add garlic and cook until golden brown. Add onions and tomatoes and continue cooking for one minute. Add carrots, cooking for another minute. Add in bell peppers to stir-fry. Dissolve 1 tbsp of cornstarch in water and add to the pan. Reduce heat and let simmer, adding sweet chili sauce, basil and pineapple. Cook for three more minutes. Remove from heat. Place fillets on a serving bowl or platter and pour the vegetable mixture over them. Serve with steamed rice.