Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ca Kho - Braised Fish 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 type of fishes and I am always an eager guinea pig.  I especially love fatty fishes like bass and catfish because it doesn't try out as easily. 

Here are some helpful tips from my mom herself to make delicious moist ca kho.  Cooking oil will help your fish stay moist throughout the cooking process.  Avoid adding any type of liquid to your fish, mom says it will only enhance the fishy smell.  Cook the fish on low heat, this will allow fish to release their juice and also allow the sauce to reduce gradually.  I like my sauce to be savory sweet but you can definitely play around with the sweetness by adding additional sugar.  Enjoy!


Ingredients:

4-5 fish steak
3 tablespoon of sugar
3-4 stalk of green onion
salt
ground pepper
fish sauce
fresh chili
cooking oil


1. Wash and clean your fish.
2. Marinate your fish with 1/4 cup of fish sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and 3 tablespoon of cooking oil.  Let marinate for about 30 minutes.
3.  Transfer fish to a pan.  Let pan heat up all the way and then turn it down to low. 
4.  In a separate pan heat up 1 tbl of sugar.  Once sugar turn color (caramelizes), turn off heat and then add 1 tbl of water.  This mixture will be use to color the fish.
5.  Add the color to your fish.  Gently flip fish steaks to ensure you coat the fish with the coloring.
6.  Sprinkle 2 tbl sugar to the fish, you can add more to your liking.
7.  Let fish steaks braise on low heat for about 30 minutes.
8.  Near the end add 1/2 cup of green onions and as much chili as your like.  Top off with some ground black pepper.
9.  Enjoy with a hot bowl of rice :)