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What's Left of the Caramel Fish

What's Left of the Caramel Fish

So yesterday, I made caramel fish (Ca Kho To) and in the process made rock candy with fish sauce. It turned out pretty well so it will be incorporated into the rotation. I made some slight modifications, they’re in parentheses in the original recipe below. Delicious with steamed veggies and jasmine rice. (recipe courtesy of Angelcakes from recipezaar.com)


1 1/2 lbs catfish or red snapper fillets, cut up into about 4 inch pieces
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce (I used a 1/2 and 1/2 mix of teriyaki sauce and fish sauce)
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chili pepper (my family doesn’t like spice so I omitted this)
2 slices ginger, julienned (did not add)
ground black pepper


  1. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, cook the sugar over low to medium heat, swirling the pan constantly, until brown and caramelized.
  2. Remove pan from heat and stir the fish sauce into the caramel. *NOTE* I created rock candy at this step b/c the fish sauce was cool. warm it up slightly and pour gradually while stirring should eliminate the problem. The “rock candy” disappeared by the time the dish was ready for serving.
  3. It will smoke slightly.
  4. Return the pan to low heat and gently boil for about couple minutes while stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  5. Stir in the shallots, chili and ginger.
  6. Add the fish in the caramel sauce and sprinkle with black pepper.
  7. Bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan.
  9. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, turning the fish occasionally and carefully.
  10. Serve with rice.

Tonight, I was making a chick pea and vegetable curry in the slow cooker but by dinner time, it was going to take another three hours; so I couldn’t serve it for dinner as I was hoping. Thankfully, I had thawed out some tilapia (which my daughter can eat) and some ground beef. Or so I thought. When I started cooking the ground beef, it look strangely like ground pork that I use to mix in with ground beef when making meatballs or meatloaf. I fished the casing out of the trash (it was vacu-packed from Peapod) and sure enough, ground pork. So I went to plan #2, Make the tialpia. Only it wasn’t tilapia, it was salmon. Which my daughter can’t eat. *sigh* It was one of those nights…

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