Eskabetse is a Philippine dish -- fried fish with sweet and sour sauce. Although eskabetse is pronounced similarly to the name of the Mexican dish escabeche, eskabetse has more of a Chinese flavor than Mexican. Both are pickled fish, in the sense that an acid like vinegar or lime juice is used, but the Mexican escabeche is raw fish marinated in lime juice. Eskabetse can be made with other meat, such as pork or chicken as well as fish. Garnish the finished dish with a salad of julienned carrot, cucumber and radish.
Drizzle lemon juice over all sides of the fish and season it with 1 tsp. of salt. Let it rest while you heat the frying pan and 2 tbsp. of oil. When the pan is hot, fry the fish on both sides until it is golden brown. Remove it carefully from the pan with a spatula and place the fish on a serving platter.
Add the remaining 2 tbsp. of oil to the pan and heat the oil. Saute the garlic, ginger and onions in the oil for two minutes, stirring frequently to keep them from burning.
Add the bell pepper and carrot strips and saute for two additional minutes.
Combine the vinegar, sugar, water, salt, soy sauce and tomato paste or ketchup in a measuring cup. Pour it over the vegetables and bring it to a boil. Add the cornstarch and water mixture and stir until the sauce thickens and clears.
Pour the sweet and sour sauce over the fish and serve.