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
- 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.
- 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.
- Slowly transfer the marinated catfish into the pot. Evenly coat it with sauce.
- Let it slowly braised for 20 minutes. Gentle move the fish around so all the slices soak up the sauce.
- Add in the coconut juice and braise for 10 more minutes.
- 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.
- Serve with steamed white rice.