Paprika and White Pepper Cream Sauce with Fish Fillets | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Paprika and White Pepper Cream Sauce with Fish Fillets

Paprika Cream Sauce for Fried Fish Fillet

They, paprika and white pepper, have been sitting together at the same corner in my kitchen cabinet longer than I could have recalled. But I have never had any attempt to pair them like this. A few days ago, some leftover and going-to-expire fresh milk in the fridge came to my sight and that moment sparkled me to give my taste buds a challenge.

As planned, I pan fried the fish fillets, two thick, dense, frozen but nice white fish meats.

As you might have in mind, cooking this sauce is as simple as mixing a few seasonings. True though. Worth noting is that paprika is to be added toward the end of cooking so as to minimize the lost of its aroma – I read this somewhere. Corrections?

I asked because I use paprika much less frequently than white pepper and so proportional is my knowledge. But I have been loving it ever since started having it in my foods.

For white peppers, I always stock two types, ground and whole. The powdery one is often used for marinading and seasoning because it is a convenient helper for getting rid of any unpleasant smell of meats, frozen type in particular. As for corn type, though I have first to pulverize it before craving, the fresh flavors from them however are unbeatable. Here, I use both of them.

Paprika Cream Sauce for Fried Fish Fillet

  • Ingredients
  • 2 pcs fish fillet, 100g each (~1.5cm thick)
  • Marinades for fish
  • pinch of ground white pepper and sea salt, ~1/8 tsp each
  • Cream Sauce
  • 2 cloves of shallots, finely chopped
  • 150ml fresh milk
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp corn starch and 2 tsp water for thickening

Paprika Cream Sauce for Fried Fish Fillet


Preparing fish fillets
Defrost, rinse, pat dry fish fillets, and have them marinaded with sea salt and ground white pepper, 10 to 15 minutes .

Heat oil in wok over medium heat and evenly distribute it half way on sides (i.e. oil an area sufficient for accommodating the fillets) . Once again, do make sure the fillets are not wet otherwise pat it dry again because moisture will prevent them from turning crispy and golden. As oil just starts smoke lightly, gently lay the fillets on the thin layer of of oil. Leave the meats as they are (actually they can’t be moved as it is usual that they get stuck to the wok once in contact with it). Lower the heat to medium low. As the first side turn golden brown and done, 4 to 5 minutes, the fillet will more or less be ‘released’ from the wok, which makes turning to the other side easy. Simply put, when done properly, a fish fillet should not get stuck to the wok after-fried, but the pre-requisite is that the oil must be heated enough.

Repeat doing the same for the other sides of the fillets. Dish up when done and arrange fillets on plates. You might have noticed that I haven’t dusted any corn starch or flour to coat the fish because I don’t want the wok to get dirts from the fried starch. So doing, the wok can be used for making the sauce without the need of cleaning or switching to another pan or wok. Yet, I’m pretty satisfied with how the meats turn out.

Preparing cream sauce
Before frying the fish, pulverize white pepper corns with a pestle and mortar.

In the same wok, in which some oil remains (if not, add in half tea spoon of oil), sauté chopped shallots till fragrant, then pour in milk, sugar and pulverized white pepper, stir to avoid sticking. As the mixture boils, add in paprika, mix well and thicken with corn starch paste; remove from heat. Done! Serve hot. Pour cream sauce over fish fillets when served.

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  1. Amy @ cookbookmaniac

    You fish looks divine. If this was on a 5star restaurant menu, I would definately order it!. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Beyond Kimchee

    I am glad that I found your blog. I happened to live in HK as well and enjoy trying different cuisines. I like your recipes. Your fish on this particular post looks amazing.

  3. 5 Star Foodie

    Paprika and White Pepper Cream Sauce sounds terrific!

  4. sensiblecooking

    That looks so fresh and light, I can eat it everyday.

  5. lisaiscooking

    The sauce with paprika sounds delicious!

  6. noobcook

    I love the spicy sauce you used for the fish… so gorgeous!

  7. tigerfish

    The milk balances the heat of the sauce…..I like that. And the consistency of the sauce looks perfect!

  8. Heavenly Housewife

    You take the most lovely pictures! This dish looks fabulous, a real show stopper.

  9. Christine@Christine's Recipes

    My love of paprika is growing. I’m trying to use it more and more.
    Your fish looks very delicious in the creamy sauce.

  10. Nancy aka Spicie Foodie

    What a fabulous recipe! I’m a big fan of paprika and your recipe sounds so mouthwatering. You are correct about adding the paprika last, if you add it to early it can also “burn” and it will release a bitter taste. I love your photo, so pretty!

  11. Lori

    What a delicious sauce! The color is beautiful next to the fish as well and a sauce like this can really make a dish. I will definitely be trying it. I love using paprika in unexpected places — sweet, smoked or spicy it is all so flavorful.

  12. Astrofiammante

    hello, I love your blog … I am sorry that I can speak little English and I use a translator .. ….. I’m trying Chinese food, after being in Hong Kong, and here you find courses that interest me … greetings from verona italy

    you can find in my blog post from Hong Kong – to roam the world – top

  13. Angie's Recipes

    oh man oh man…this looks sensational! Going to try the dish.

  14. Sook

    The cream sauce looks delicious! Yum!

  15. TasteHongKong

    @Nancy aka Spicie Foodie, Thanks for your affirmation

    @Astrofiammante, That’s perfectly fine with me, I read your kind words. Honestly, though I put up all posts here in English, it is my second language : ).

  16. TasteHongKong

    Thank you to Foodbuzz for choosing this post as their Top9/#2 today.

  17. Linn @ Swedish home cooking

    That sounds amazing! What a beautiful recipe. It gave me some inspiration for today’s dinner actually, fish fillets with a white sauce, but seasoned with curry 🙂

  18. Juliana

    Wow, paprika and white pepper cream sauce? Have to try this one…the fish looks fabulous with this sauce 🙂

  19. the lacquer spoon

    Thanks for the beautiful dish! So good to imagine the sweetness of paprika mixed with pepper. Love the sauce with a spicy kick which lemon can’t give to the grilled fish 🙂

  20. krissy @

    thinking outside of the box!! that’s awesome that you combined two great flavors and made a great sauce for your fish. that will jazz up any kind of white fish any day!

  21. sophia

    Oh this looks divine! White pepper has quite an exquisite taste, so different from the black…

  22. brian_in_gib

    wow, that looks spectacular! Love the photography…
    Greetings from Gibraltar,

  23. Kitchen Butterfly

    Never heard of adding Paprika at the end – hmmm. Will give it a go when next I use it in a recipe! It looks lovely

  24. justcooknyc

    that sauce looks so good

  25. Helena

    I didn’t pay much attention to this recipe before, but the more I saw its mentions, the more it seemed to me a great dish ! All the more so I still have a plastic bag (you read it right !) full of good quality paprika sitting in my pantry, which had been sent by “grandma shipping” directly from Slovakia…
    But as I don’t cook paprika-seasoned soups as often as my grandma, I only use it in small quantities (in bolognese sauce for example), it’s a pity ! This recipes seems perfect to emphasize the bright color and the subtle taste of this spice. Very interesting combination with the white pepper, which I don’t use often neither… Since I often wonder how to prepare fishes, and quite always end up frying it in butter and serving it with a creamy lemon sauce, it gives me a convenient alternative ! Thanks for this inventive idea.

  26. TasteHongKong

    Thanks for that reassurance. Yes, for me this is an interesting combination, actually ground white pepper is good on many of our dishes.
    Enjoy your paprika!