Ca Kho to (Vietnamese Fish in Caramel Sauce)

Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 45 mins

This is an authentic Vietnamese fish dish. I have to admit that the first time I heard of fish with caramel sauce, I thought that it sounded like an awful combination! Boy, was I wrong! It is delicious and very unique-- the flavors actually work very well. Soooo good!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a bowl, mix the fish sauce, brown sugar, honey, pepper, garlic and shallots.
  2. In a dutch oven, melt the sugar and cook until golden brown. Add the water. Add the coconut milk and stir. Add the fish and the contents of the bowl. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and let simmer for at least ½ hour to 45 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the fish over so that both sides soak in the sauce. Add more coconut milk if the sauce starts to dry out. Before serving, take off the lid so that the sauce can thicken a bit. Serve immediately with jasmine rice.
Most Helpful

4 5

This was very good, but I think the shallots were a little over-powering. I looked more closely at the picture just now and saw the cilantro and lime and think those would have been great additions, but they weren't in the directions so I didn't know to use them. I also had trouble with the caramel sauce. When I added the water to the sugar it "blew up" and the carmel immediately turned into a glob that wouldn't incorporate. So I tossed the "glob" and added another 2 tbs of white sugar and cooked it down to dissolve and proceeded with the rest. The dish had a nice flavor and DH liked it a lot (which is huge in my book), but next time I might search for a recipe that uses scallions or a different ration of onions.