Fish in Carrot and Tomato Sauce

Recently I got an email from Lidija in Sydney. She wrote that growing up as a kid and teenager she would have a particular fish and tomato dish served at church confirmation celebrations. Lidija’s mother had passed away 30 years ago and she cannot find a recipe for this dish.

I searched through my cookbooks (some of them are reprints from early 20th century), but I could not locate a recipe that would explain how this dish would have been made nearly 100 years ago. However, fish in tomato and carrot sauce, served cold, still is a fairly popular party dish (served as salad), so here goes my version of it.

Lidija, I hope it hits the mark!

Fish in Carrot and Tomato Sauce

Fish in Carrot and Tomato Sauce


  • 1kg white-fleshed fish
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 250g tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • Oil for frying, salt and pepper


  1. Cut the fish in 5cm cubes, season with salt and pepper. Whisk eggs. Roll the fish pieces in flour, then dip in the egg and place on a preheated pan. Cook for 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through, depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside.
  2. Thinly slice onion and coarsely grate carrots. Place the onions in a saucepan and fry until translucent. Add grated carrots and continue to fry for couple more minutes until carrots have softened.
  3. Add tomato paste to the saucepan and mix well. Mix together vinegar and water, add to the saucepan. Season well and simmer for 5 - 7 minutes until the sauce slightly thickens.
  4. Cover the bottom of serving dish with a 1/3 of the sauce. Place the cooked fish on top, cover with the remaining sauce.
  5. Place overnight in the fridge to marinate. Serve cold.


I have made this recipe with barramundi and cod and I find that cod works better as it is flakier and absorbs the sauce more. You can replace the tomato paste with a tin of condensed tomato soup; if soup is used, reduce the amount of water to 1/2 cup. You can add herbs (parsley, dill, basil) or finely sliced capsicum to the sauce for extra flavour.

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6 Responses

  1. Rasma says:

    This dish is my brothers very favorite thing to eat! My Tante Elze would add Italian bottled dressing to the tomatoe paste for seasoning in the 60’s. We never did add the carrots as I recall on our side of the family. My Onkuls Victors was the fisherm and my Tante Valija would always have a tub of this fish dish in the fridge 24/7. They would even marinate smelts in this same sauce.

  2. Maris says:

    Finding a decent barramundi is almost impossible .. the farm grown stuff is tasteless. The natural wild caught fish are the only ones worth eating for it’s true flavour. The barra from Thailand fish farms are hopeless.

  3. Baiba Kahn says:

    My mom would make it with carmelized onions and then marinate the fried fish (no egg) with onions in French dressing. To this day I still love it that way.

  4. Great inspiration for the latvian dinner me and my friends have planned for tonight

  5. Diana says:

    I love this one! It was our family staple. It is absolutely delicious. I was looking for exactly this – onions AND carrots with tomato sauce. Thank you, Liva!

  6. Alexey says:

    It looks like a favourite Russian “ryba pod marinadom”. You can find dozens of variations of this recipe

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