Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ca Ngu Kho - Mackerel Braised in Caramel Sauce

Ca kho is one of my favorite dishes growing up. We often eat variation of this dish each week because it's simple to make and does not require a lot of ingredients. My mom loves experimenting with different fish and I am always an eager guinea pig. Two of my favorite variations are mackerel and bass because I prefer the meaty texture. What makes this dish so irresistible? Ca kho is made by simmering the fish in a caramel sauce. In the end, the caramel sauce reduces down into a rich savory sauce that absorbs into every part of the fish. Every bite taste like it was made especially for you!


1 mackerel
2 tablespoon of sugar
1-2 stalk of green onionsginger
ground pepper
fresh chili
cooking oil


1. Clean and gut your fish if needed. Cut into smaller portions.
2. Cut green onion into 1/2 inch portion3. 
3. Sliced ginger into very thin strips about 2 teaspoon.


1. Marinade your fish with a tablespoon of cooking oil, 3 tablespoon of fish sauce, 1/2 of the green onions.
2.  Heat up a pot on medium heat add about 2 tablespoon of sugar.  You'll want it to dissolved and caramelized which will help add some color to your fish.
3.  Once you have caramelized the sugar, add the fish and turn down the heat.  It is very important you braised fish on low heat.
4. At this point, water should be releasing from inside the fish but it will reduce later. Just let the fish cook slowly on low heat. Add additional sugar and fish sauce to your preference.
5.  Add the ginger, chili, and the rest of the green onions.
6.  If the fish did not produce enough liquid to fully submerge it, turn the fish halfway through so it will caramelized on both side.
7.  Once the sauce has reduced your fish is ready.  Top it off with some ground black pepper.  Enjoy!