© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <email@example.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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This is one of my favorite dishes at a local Vietnamese restaurant. I searched around the internet for the recipe and this is what a came up with. I just made this tonight and am quite surprised how close it taste to the restaurant version. It is normally made in a clay pot but a 2 quart saucepan will suffice. Beware, nước mắm (fish sauce) is a very pungent ingredient.
1 ½ pounds catfish or red snapper fillet, cut up into about 4 inch pieces
⅓ cup white sugar
¼ cup nước mắm (fish sauce) (preferably Three Crabs Brand)
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chili pepper
2 slices ginger, julliened
ground black pepper
In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, cook the sugar over low to medium heat, swirling the pan constantly, until brown and caramelized.
Remove pan from heat and stir the nước mắm (fish sauce) into the caramel. It will smoke slightly. Return the pan to low heat and gently boil for about couple minutes while stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in the shallots, chili and ginger. Add the fish in the caramel sauce and sprinkle with black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan.
Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, turning the fish occasionally and carefully.
Serve with rice.