By Lili Tu
This is the ultimate comfort food for Vietnamese. The sweet-spicy-savoury, gooey caramel sauce and the soft fatty fish are the great combination and make rice taste so good.
The nose-to-tail movement or rather - fin-to-fin here, is actually something we've been doing for generations. A common practice in Vietnamese family is to use the head and tail cuts for the canh chua - sweet and sour fish soup which we shared last week while the rest is to make this beautiful clay-pot dish. The rich, sweet and salty flavour of clay-pot fish goes really well with the sour of the soup and the freshness of the veggies in it. You have a real balanced, healthy and sustainable meal with the whole fish!!
Total cooking time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 - 6
- 1kg silver perch or barramundi cutlets
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoons black pepper
- 3 spring onions
- 2 tablespoons caramel sauce
- 400ml coconut juice
- Chilli (optional)
- Cooking oil
- Clean the fish cutlets, rinse well and pat dry. Marinade with fish sauce, sugar, pepper for about 30 mins.
- Cut the white part and green part of spring onion separately.
- Heat the clay pot on the lowest heat for 5 minutes, gradually increase the heat to medium high. Add garlic, white part of spring onion. Stir fry until fragrant. Add the caramel sauce and coconut juice.
- Bring the mixture to the boiling point. Add the marinated fish. Cover and turn to medium low heat and allow simmer for about 25 minutes. Check after 10 minutes make sure that the juice doesn’t reduce too much. Pour the sauce over the fish using a spoon so the fish brown and caramelised evenly. Taste the sauce and adjust to your liking.
- Take off heat and add additional fresh cracked pepper, green onions, and chilli.