Rating: 4.32 stars
19 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 11
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1

Catfish cooked Vietnamese style, coated in a caramel fish sauce.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
30 mins
total:
45 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Mix 1/3 cup of water with the fish sauce in a small bowl and set aside. Combine shallots, garlic, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in a separate bowl and set aside.

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  • Heat 1/3 cup of water and 1/3 cup of sugar in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar turns deep golden brown. Gently stir in the fish sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Stir in the shallot mixture and cook until shallots soften, then add the catfish. Cover and cook the catfish until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 5 minutes on each side. Place catfish on a large plate, cover, and set aside. Increase heat to high and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Stir in the lime juice and any sauce that has collected on the plate. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce has reduced. Pour sauce over the catfish and garnish with green onions and cilantro.

Nutrition Facts

404 calories; protein 36.8g; carbohydrates 24.1g; fat 17.4g; cholesterol 106.7mg; sodium 675.9mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (17)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/02/2009
This is definitely a keeper. I substituted the shallots for 1/2 a white onion. I also substituted lemon for lime and did not have any cilantro. It still came out great! Thanks Everret! Read More
(8)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
04/19/2017
Word to the wise: seriously cut back on the pepper. Also recipe works on any sort of white fish. So if you don't have or can't find catfish you can substitute. Read More
19 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 11
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
12/02/2009
This is definitely a keeper. I substituted the shallots for 1/2 a white onion. I also substituted lemon for lime and did not have any cilantro. It still came out great! Thanks Everret! Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
02/11/2010
Wow! Best fish I've had in a long time. Thanks for the great recipe! My boyfriend was a skeptic about caramelized fish sauce but it was beautiful! I found the sauce to be a bit spicy for my taste so I think I will reduce the amount of pepper flakes and black pepper the next time. I also used raw sugar instead of white (we try to eat a little more organically around here) and it still worked fine. I also squeezed fresh lime juice onto the final dish in addition to the lime in the sauce. And I don't think the cilantro is necessary though we used it and it was still good. Beautiful recipe! We'll definitely be eating this again! Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
05/21/2011
I was afraid this was going to be too sweet but it wasn't. I didn't have fish sauce so I substituted Worcestershire sauce (as it is made from anchovies I've been told) and it added enough saltiness not to have to add anymore. The deep mahogany color is beautiful and the flavor is like a teriyaki sauce but more complex. I cut down on the cooking time just a bit (about 3-1/2 minutes each side) and it came out fine. I also left out the cilantro but that's because I thought the taste would overpower the fish. Read More
(3)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/01/2014
This is a very simple dish if all the prep is done then it takes about 20 minutes. There is a trick not mentioned here; after you caramelize the sugar the water you add needs to be hot otherwise that sugar will clump and stick to everything. You can wait until it remelts but trust me adding hot water is easier. I also wonder if you need to add so much water at the beginning when caramelizing the sugar since it really doesn't start browning until most of the water has evaporated. I found I had to add hot water in small amounts as I cooked the fish so it didn't get too thick or burn. I did not have to cook it down at all. I don't think the green onions and cilantro at the end add too much other than that a fine recipe. Read More
(2)
Rating: 4 stars
07/08/2010
pretty good....used brown sugar... and white onion from the garden...kids didn't know if they liked it or not....but then again they aren't big fish eaters....served over brown rice....cilantro on top was my favorite.....;)...thanks Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
01/19/2012
Absolutely fantastic. The catfish looked pretty iffy at the market so I substituted haddock. If I made it again I would decrease the pepper- I enjoyed the recipe as is but it had too much bite for my kids. This is a recipe I will definitely be making again! Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/07/2012
OhMyGosh! I followed the recipe exactly and this dish does a dance in your mouth and made us all smile so big. It is DELICIOUS! I paired it with some stir fried noodles. For this Southern Boy who mostly fries his catfish in cornmeal this was a stretch but NO REGRETS. Give it a try. You will be amazed at how wonderful it is! Promise.... Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
12/30/2016
This was fantastic! I made it last week and It was the first allrecipes meal I made. I'm making another recipe this week. I am competent in the kitchen but far from expert and I was able to make this with no issues. Since it's just my wife and me I used about half the fish but made the sauce per the recipe anyway which was good because I had just enough. The flavors were fantastic! I used maybe 2/3 of the garlic and red chilis it called for and that gave it a kick without the heat or garlic being the star of the show. If it could have used anything I think it would be some chopped peanuts or cashews on top for texture. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
08/30/2014
I've not tried this EXACT receipe but I have made caramel fish / chicken wings on other ocassions and LOVE it big time... have become a bit of an expert on the caramel sauce since I've made it a hundred times now and I luv it BIG time! Read More
Rating: 3 stars
04/19/2017
Word to the wise: seriously cut back on the pepper. Also recipe works on any sort of white fish. So if you don't have or can't find catfish you can substitute. Read More