Vietnamese Caramelized Clay Pot Cat Fish (Cá Kho Tộ )

 Vietnamese Caramelized Claypot Catfish, ( Ca Kho Tho)

Vietnamese Caramelized Clay Pot Cat Fish (Cá Kho Tộ )


  • 3 lbs cat fish (slice into 1-inch thick steaks
  • 1 teaspoon of thick soy sauce (this is the short-cut to caramelizing my own sugar)
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce (divided)
  • Some vegetable oil for frying
  • 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sliced shallots
  • 1/3 can of coconut juice (Coco brand)
  • 1 tablespoon sliced green onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Coat the catfish with thick soy sauce. Then marinate with 1/4 cup fish sauce for at least 30 minutes. The fish sauce will toughen up the catfish so that it holds it shape.
  2. In a clay pot or a small pot, coat the bottom with vegetable oil. Fry 1 tablespoon of shallots until fragrant, not brown. Stir in sugar and the other 1/4 cup fish sauce.
  3. Slowly transfer the marinated catfish into the pot. Evenly coat it with sauce.
  4. Let it slowly braised for 20 minutes. Gentle move the fish around so all the slices soak up the sauce.
  5. Add in the coconut juice and braise for 10 more minutes.
  6. In a small pan, deep fry the remainder of the shallots until golden brown. Keep an eye on it and stir constantly for even browning. Use a slotted spoon to remove the crispy fried shallots from the pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Top fish with fried shallots, green onions and pepper.
  7. Serve with steamed white rice.

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