← Back to Search Results
pan-frying Asian, Chinese
Sesame-Crusted Fish Fillets with Garlic-Ginger Sauce

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0


This recipe features another boldly flavored Chinese-inspired sauce that complements virtually any type of mild white fish fillets. The light, crispy crust on the fish is flecked with black and white sesame seeds, which add extra flavor and crunch. You could use only white sesame seeds, but it’s really worth a visit to an Asian market or spice shop, for the black ones add visual drama to this simple dish. There’s quite a lot of ginger in the sauce, which gives it a clean, spicy pungency. To julienne the ginger, cut the peeled knobs lengthwise along the grain into thin slices. Then stack the slices and cut them lengthwise, still along the grain, into even-size matchsticks.

Yield: SERVES 6


  • 6 tablespoons canola or other vegetable oil
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and julienned (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cups Fish Stock, Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons good-quality soy sauce, such as Kikkoman
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup white sesame seeds
  • 1 cup black sesame seeds
  • 6 mild white fish fillets (6 to 8 ounces each), such as flounder, cod, scrod, grouper, snapper, or bass


1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. When a drop of water sizzles rapidly on contact with the oil, add the garlic and ginger and cook quickly until aromatic but just slightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Add the fish stock, soy sauce, sherry, sugar, and oyster sauce and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce, uncovered, until the flavors have blended and the sauce has reduced slightly, about 15 minutes.

3. Whisk 2 teaspoons of the cornstarch with the cold water to blend. When smooth, whisk the mixture into the simmering sauce, stirring until thickened, about 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat and keep warm, covered, while you prepare the fish.

4. Combine the egg whites and remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a wide, shallow bowl and whisk to blend. Combine the black and white sesame seeds on a plate. Dip each fish fillet first in the egg-white mixture to coat both sides, then in the sesame seeds to cover completely, shaking off any excess. Place each fillet as it is coated on a baking sheet.

5. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting.

6. Heat the remaining ¼ cup oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the fish fillets or as many as will fit comfortably; do not crowd the pan. Sauté until lightly browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Adjust the heat as necessary so the fillets brown nicely but the seeds don’t burn. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the fillets to paper towels to drain, then to a platter. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and keep warm in the oven while you sauté the remaining fillets.

7. When all the fillets are sautéed, spoon the hot sauce over them and serve immediately.

© 2000 David Waltuck and Melicia Phillips

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information does not include Chicken Stock recipe. For nutritional information on Chicken Stock recipe, please follow the link above.

600kcal (30%)
502mg (50%)
2mg (3%)
43mcg RAE (1%)
127mg (42%)
666mg (28%)
5g (26%)
42g (64%)
9mg (49%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

the-sweet-life The Sweet Life
by Kate Zuckerman
the-lee-bros-southern-cookbook-stories-and-recipes-for-southerners-and-would-be-southerners The Lee Bros. Southern Cook...
by Ted Lee, Matt Lee
parents-need-to-eat-too Parents Need to Eat Too
by Debbie Koenig
young-and-hungry-more-than-100-recipes-for-cooking-fresh-and-affordable-food-for-everyone Young and Hungry: More Than...
by Dave Lieberman
nigella-express Nigella Express
by Nigella Lawson
down-home-with-the-neelys-a-southern-family-cookbook Down Home with the Neelys: ...
by Gina Neely, Pat Neely
once-upon-a-tart-soups-salads-muffins-and-more-from-new-york-citys-favorite-bakeshop-and-cafe Once Upon a Tart: Soups, Sa...
by Frank Mentesana, Jerome Audureau
david-rosengarten-entertains-fabulous-parties-for-food-lovers David Rosengarten Entertain...
by David Rosengarten
amor-y-tacos Amor Y Tacos
by Deborah Schneider
bistro-cooking-at-home-more-than-150-classic-and-contemporary-dishes Bistro Cooking at Home: Mor...
by Gordon Hamersley
food-to-live-by Food to Live By
by Myra Goodman
ice-creams-and-sorbets-cool-recipes Ice Creams and Sorbets: Coo...
by Lou Seibert Pappas
a-bakers-odyssey A Baker's Odyssey
by Andrew Schloss
125-best-vegan-recipes 125 Best Vegan Recipes
by Maxine Effenson Chuck, Beth Gurney
Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up to Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here

Sign in to Cookstr

Keep me logged in
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?