Braised trout in caramel sauce
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 50 mins
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Known as ca kho to in Vietnamese, this braised trout in caramel sauce is classic Vietnamese comfort food. Serve with white jasmine rice.
  • 1 whole trout (or 1-1.5 pounds of an oily fish, skin on), cut into steaks.
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tbsp cup fish sauce (nuoc mam in Vietnamese)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • 3-8 red Thai chiles
  • 1-inch nub of ginger, julienned
  • 2 tbsp ground black pepper
  1. Put sugar and half of the water in a medium pan or clay pot on high heat. Don't stir or touch. It will boil vigorously before the bubbles slow and start building on one another. After 5 minutes or so, it will begin turning brown, caramelizing. Take it off the heat when it's a deep golden brown color, like very weak coffee. Don't let it get espresso-dark!
  2. Add in the rest of the water, fish sauce, salt, and return it to the heat, turning it down to medium low heat.
  3. Add fish steaks to the caramel sauce. Top with onions, chiles, ginger, and pepper. Cover with a lid, cracking it open a little with a chopstick. Simmer for 20 minutes. Flip the steaks over. Simmer for another 20 minutes until sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  4. Serve with steaming white rice.
Recipe by heo yeah yum at