Ca Kho To, also known as Vietnamese Caramelized Fish, is a tantalizing dish that combines tender fish fillets with a savory and sweet caramel sauce. This classic Vietnamese recipe showcases the unique flavors and techniques of Vietnamese cuisine, resulting in a rich and satisfying seafood dish. In this article, we will guide you through an authentic Ca Kho To recipe, allowing you to experience the delightful taste of this Vietnamese favorite in your own kitchen.
1 pound fish fillets (such as catfish, basa, or tilapia)
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
Ground black pepper to taste
Sliced green onions and cilantro for garnish
Cooked rice for serving
Step 1: Prepare the fish
Rinse the fish fillets and pat them dry with paper towels. Cut them into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
Step 2: Make the caramel sauce
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes, or until it turns into a golden caramel color. Be careful not to let it burn. Remove from heat and set aside.
Step 3: Cook the fish
In a large skillet or pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sliced shallots, and sauté until fragrant and golden brown. Add the fish fillets to the pan, spreading them out in a single layer. Pour the caramel sauce and fish sauce over the fish. Sprinkle with ground black pepper. Cover the pan and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
Step 4: Serve and garnish
Transfer the Ca Kho To to a serving dish. Garnish with sliced green onions and cilantro. Serve hot with steamed rice, allowing the flavors of the caramelized fish and sauce to meld together. The tender fish, savory-sweet caramel sauce, and aromatic herbs create a delicious and satisfying Vietnamese culinary experience.
Optional: Customization and Variations
Add sliced chili peppers or chili flakes for a spicy kick. Include vegetables such as sliced bell peppers or onions for added texture and flavor. Experiment with different types of fish to suit your preference.
With this authentic Ca Kho To recipe, you can enjoy the rich and savory flavors of Vietnamese Caramelized Fish in the comfort of your own home. The combination of tender fish, caramel sauce, and aromatic seasonings creates a dish that is both comforting and flavorful. Ca Kho To is a popular Vietnamese favorite that showcases the balance of sweet and savory tastes, which is characteristic of Vietnamese cuisine. Immerse yourself in the culinary delights of Vietnam and savor the richness of Ca Kho To as you enjoy this delicious and satisfying seafood dish.