Saeng Sun Jun: Korean Fried Fish

Man cooking fish fillets in a frying pan

If you’ve been looking for a sign to explore the delicious world of Korean cuisine, this is it. Due to its simplicity and ability to appeal to a variety of palettes, Korean fried fish is the perfect place to start. And while this restaurant-ready dish might seem labour-intensive, it all comes together quite quickly.

Korean dining often involves several shared plates served at one meal, so you can expect a variety of fermented or pickled foods that tend to be spicy, such as kimchi. This particular dish was traditionally prepared alongside other sides for special occasions, such as seol-nal (New Year’s Day) and chu-soek (Korean Thanksgiving), but is a delicious meal for any night of the week.

A few essential ingredients involved in Korean dishes include rice, sesame oil, soy sauce, chilli pepper paste (kochujang, also spelled gochujang), garlic, ginger and scallions. Many of these essential ingredients are included in this classic fried fish recipe as well. Seafood also happens to be a common staple in Korean meals, due to the region’s coastal location.

Tilapia works great for this dish since its lean fillet and mild taste are ideal for frying. And while the fried fish itself is tasty, the spicy garlic-sesame dipping sauce is just as good. The sauce can be made a few days in advance to make your meal prep even easier. An added meal planning bonus: the fish freezes really well. We suggest cooking extra and freezing batches to make future dinners a breeze.

Saeng Sun Jun: Korean Fried Fish

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 327 kcal


Dipping Sauce

  • cup soy sauce
  • cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp green onions thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp garlic chopped

Fried Fish

  • 1 lb Regal Springs Tilapia tenders
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • vegetable oil for frying


  1. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, pepper flakes, green onion and garlic in a small bowl and set aside. This can be done up to three days in advance.

  2. Season Tilapia tenders with salt and pepper on all sides.

  3. Beat eggs in a medium bowl.

  4. Heat enough oil in a medium heavy bottom pan to cover the bottom. Oil should just begin to shimmer.

  5. Dredge fish in flour and dip in egg. Allow excess to drip off. Place immediately in hot oil. Fry for about two minutes per side. Remove and place on paper towels to drain excess oil.

  6. Serve with spicy dipping sauce.

Recipe Notes

Calories are per serving.


Eager to try this recipe at home? Consult our store locator to find your nearest Tilapia retailer.

Photo Credits: Nomad_Soul / Shutterstock Inc.