Asian Seared Whole Fish With Chili Sauce Recipe

Asian Seared Whole Fish With Chili Sauce Recipe
In this case, I used perch as the whole fish in this Asian-styled recipe, but it will work with nearly any species. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

This Asian Seared Whole Fish With Chili Sauce Recipe is served in a way you're probably not used to, but I guarantee you'll love!

This dish is served family style, much like at most Asian dinner tables. A whole fish is cooked, big enough for the family, and everyone picks at it with chopsticks to eat with rice. For most of my life, I ate fish with its head still on and had no idea that fillets even existed.

There are many variations of this dish. I’ve had whole fish seared/fried/steamed with all kinds of sauces on it. Use the ingredients here or make it your own – add ginger, use fish sauce and water instead of ponzu, add lime juice or vinegar – salty, spicy and tangy is what you’re shooting for.

Serves: 2
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

asian seared whole fish recipe chili sauce 1
If you can, try to find the Laoganma brand for the chili in oil ingredient. It's a thick and crunchy blend that has a little heat to it. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)


  • 1 whole fish, scales removed (pictured is perch)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 2-3 tablespoons chili in oil
  • 3 tablespoons ponzu
  • Cooked white rice for serving


  1. Rinse fish under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Season the inside and outside with salt. This recipe can be done with fillets as well, preferably skin on to keep the flesh together.
  2. asian seared whole fish recipe perch
    Season your whole fish with salt and pepper only. The other ingredients will add that delicious Asian flavor. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil becomes hot, add fish and sear until browned on both sides and cooked through. Cooking times will vary. Carefully transfer fish to a serving plate and keep warm.
  4. asian seared whole fish recipe perch 3
    Cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of your fish. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

    If you’re feeling extra motivated, deep fry the entire fish in hot oil for the crispiest result.

  5. To the same pan, add the chili in oil, sliced garlic and scallion. When garlic becomes aromatic and slightly browned, add the ponzu. These measurements can be doubled or tripled … depending on your taste, how big your fish is and how many people you are serving.
  6. asian seared whole fish recipe perch 4
    Feel free to adjust the ingredient measurements when making the sauce. Some might like it spicy while others enjoy a more garlicky taste. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  7. Drizzle the sauce over the fish and serve with hot white rice.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

Fish Recipes

Pecan-Crusted Catfish Fillets Recipe

By: Emilie Bailey

This is not your run-of-the-mill fish recipe! Buttery, savory pecans are seasoned up to make...


Topwater Lure Secrets for Bass

Jim Edlund - April 26, 2018

These secrets will put more and bigger bass in your boat!


The Lowdown on Walleye Hardbaits

Steve Ryan - May 28, 2019

The range of walleye hardbaits encompasses multiple categories and a dizzying number of lures.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Frigid Water Smallmouths

Doug Stange swims jigs with precision for frigid-water smallmouths.

Simms' Challenger Raingear

John Frazier of Simms Fishing Products details the warm and dry features found in the new Challenger raingear being brought to market by the Bozeman, Mont. company.

Berkley's Surge Shad

Major League Fishing pro Scott Suggs has relied on the Berkley Surge Shad lure concept for years, using similar designs to capture MLF titles and a $1 million dollar FLW Forrest Cup win. With new features in the Surge Shad, Suggs tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead that even he can find success out on the water!

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Other Fish

Best Carp Baits Today

Dan Johnson - June 29, 2018

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural...


Walleye Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 03, 2017

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as...


Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 22, 2017

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate...

See More Stories

More Fish Recipes

Fish Recipes

Ranchero Walleye


Looking for an easy weeknight dinner? You can make this delicious Ranchero Walleye Recipe in...

Fish Recipes

Catfish & Potato Stew With Herbed Biscuits Recipe

Chef Lucia Watson

While it might take some time, this Catfish & Potato Stew With Herbed Biscuits Recipe is easy...

Fish Recipes

Cedar-Planked Smoked Salmon Recipe

In-Fisherman Online Staff - August 10, 2018

Cedar-Planked Smoked Salmon Recipe with a full-bodied white wine, such as Chardonnay or...

See More Fish Recipes

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.