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Ca Kho To Vietnamese Braised Fish in Clay Pot

choose a meaty fish steak such as catfish, king mackerel, tuna, or salmon. Directions are for making caramel sauce, but can be skipped if using premade-just add after searing the fish and just before the coconut water.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: braised fish, seafood
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 284kcal


  • 1 lb fish steaks catfish or other meaty fish
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 4 tbs sugar divided
  • 2 tbs minced shallots
  • 2 tbs minced garlic
  • 2 tbs cooking oil
  • 3 green onions sliced 1 inches long
  • 1.5 cup young coconut water
  • 1-2 thai chili thinly sliced, optional
  • Fresh pepper


  • Marinade fish with fish sauce, 2 Tb sugar, garlic, and shallots for min 10 min.
  • In heavy pot such as dutch oven, heat 2 tbs of sugar on medium high and stir until sugar melts and becomes dark mohogany, immediately add the oil to stop caramelization and stir. Sear the fish steaks, turning once after it has browned. Add coconut water turn to med low heat to braise. Cover pot for 3-4 minutes for fish to cook through and then remove cover to reduce the sauce to about 1/2. Season to taste, with fish sauce or sugar if needed. Add optional chili and stir into the sauce. Finish with fresh cracked pepper, green onions. Serve immediately with white rice.


Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 801mg | Potassium: 541mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 226IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg
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