Catfish Braised in Caramel Sauce

Cà Kho Tộ

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Little Saigon Cookbook: Vietnamese Cuisine And Culture In Southern California's Little Saigon

Little Saigon Cookbook

By Ann Le

Published 2011

  • About

Ca kho to has always been a traditional recipe of South Vietnam. Because this dish can be made ahead of time, and the saltiness helps it last a little bit longer than your average leftover, it is extremely popular to have during the week of Tet. This version is my grandma’s recipe and better than other ca kho to recipes I have had in restaurants. She loves using lots of pepper and keeping the sauce thin. In this recipe, coconut soda or a 7Up-like soda helps break down the proteins of the fish; the carbonated beverage also cuts the fishy smell a little better than coconut juice would. Choose fresh catfish, cod, halibut, or another non-oily fish with a firm flesh. If you use a fish with a soft flesh, such as flounder, the fish will be braised into a puree. It is important that you ask for a cross-sectional cut; better yet, a cut toward the tail where you will find most of the meat. Serve this fish with lots of freshly ground black pepper and steamed white rice.