Weeknight Fish with Hot Garlic Sauce

I did a lot of googling and I can’t seem to figure out exactly where hot garlic sauce comes from. There’s an Italian version with hot chilies, vinegar, and sugar, but there are also Chinese and Thai variations.

Wherever it originates, I have nothing bad to say about any hot garlic sauce I’ve ever had. It’s also insanely easy to make. This recipe, for example, involves little more than whisking together the components of the sauce, pouring the sauce over some fish, and sticking the whole thing in the oven. Oh sure, there is a little sauce thickening at the end, but that takes like 5 minutes, promise. 

Did you make this recipe? Be sure to tag us on instagram @theprotopantry and use the #protopantry hashtag. Happy cooking!

Everything on protopantry.com is made using our 50-ingredient minimalist pantry list. We have recipes from all over the world and for most dietary needs—explore here.

Weeknight Fish with Hot Garlic Sauce Recipe

This sweet, spicy, savory fish is on the table in under 30 minutes.

Makes: 4 servings

Weeknight Fish with Hot Garlic Sauce

Prep time:

Cook time:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (be sure to use gluten-free or low sodium if necessary or desired)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 2 dashes hot sauce, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced (about 6 cloves)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 4 fillets of white fish (4-5 ounces each), patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • Optional: lemon slices for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Whisk the olive oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, pepper flakes, hot sauce, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a mixing bowl to form the sauce.
  3. Add the fish to a baking dish or oven-proof skillet in a single layer.
  4. Pour the sauce over the fish and gently turn to coat.
  5. Bake the fish for 15-20 minutes, or until white and flaky throughout.
  6. While the fish bakes, whisk the corn starch and cold water together in a small bowl to form a slurry.
  7. When the fish is finished baking, remove the fish from the skillet or dish to rest. Be careful especially if you're using a metal-handled skillet. It will be very hot.
  8. Add the corn starch slurry to the sauce in the skillet or dish, and stir vigourously. Return the sauce to the oven to thicken for four-five minutes. You know the sticky but still slightly runny viscosity of sweet and sour sauce? That's sort of what we're going for. Watch the sauce closely so that it doesn't burn.
  9. Top the fish with thickened sauce and lemon slices if desired. Enjoy.

Notes and Nutrition Information

  • Fish does not keep very well, so eat this meal immediately or refrigerate and eat the very next day.

  • Serve with broccoli and/or rice, which can also be slathered in sauce.

  • Any variety of white fish will do. If you use frozen fish fillets, make sure to take extra care to pat them down with a paper towel, as they do release more water.

  • One fourth of the recipe as written contains approximately 293 calories, 15 grams of fat, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 24 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 1006 milligrams of sodium.