Ca Kho To

Ca Kho To

Cá kho Tộ or Vietnamese Caramelized and Braised Catfish in Clay Pot is a popular Southern Vietnamese dish made out of Catfish braised in coconut water, soy sauce and fish sauce with onions and garlic. It’s a rich salty dish that is best with freshly cooked rice and vegetables or side salad like sliced cucumbers, simple blanched vegetables or some pickled mustard greens.

This dish usually uses the body part of the fish as a common practice while the heads and tails are used on a sour soup dish called Canh Chua Ca which also goes well as a side soup to cleanse that palate.

When I first tried this dish it feels like having a fish adobo as the flavour profiles are the same, the soy sauce and garlic are one of the main taste of this dish. While catfish is the preferred fish when preparing this other oily type fish that can hold its shape while braising can be used like mackerel or tuna.

Ca Kho To
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 3-4
  • 700 g pound catfish, cut into sections
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup coconut water
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp thick soy sauce or kecap manis
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 stalk spring onion, chopped
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • oil
  1. Generously cover fish with salt and set it aside for 15 minutes. Rinse fish with running water then pat it dry with heavy duty paper towels. Set is aside.
  2. In a wok add oil then sauté garlic until golden brown.
  3. Add the sliced onion on top of the garlic then place fish on top in one layer.
  4. Pour the coconut water, water, fish sauce, thick soy sauce and chilli bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes covered. Gently turnover fish and simmer for 5 to 10 more minutes uncovered or until liquid has reduced.
  5. Add the spring onions then serve, top with more chillies if desired.


Ca Kho To Wide


3 Responses

  1. suituapui says:

    Oh? Catfish? I just had grilled catfish, Thai style with mango salad last week – Thai chef. It was so so so very nice.

  2. Spicy, garlicky and delicious. What is not to love!?! Shared! (Ps. Just sent you an e-mail. Can you please check your inbox?) Take care, BAM

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