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Caramelized fish with syrupy sauce in a clay pot


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Ca¨ kho toń - Caramelized fish with syrupy sauce in a clay pod (southern dish)
This is a favorite and popular dish of the Southern Vietnamese, especially in the countryside. It needs the caramel sauce to have a golden brown color.




  • 6 pieces of catfish, or any white flesh and firm fish (about 4 ounces each)
  • 4 garlic cloves smashed
    1 bunch of spring onions chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of caramel syrup or sauce(1)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
    fresh ground black pepper

    1 cup of water or liquid of one coconut (optional)

    (1)See the recipe for this sauce in chicken recipes page.


  • Saute the fish in oil with chopped scallions and garlic. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to boil, put in the clay pot, and put in a 300-degree oven for 40 minutes.

    To serve:
  • Serve with steamed rice and boiled vegetables such as water spinach or sweet potato leaves or pickled vegetables.