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This is one of my favorite dishes at a local Vietnamese restaurant. I searched around the internet for the recipe and this is what a came up with. I just made this tonight and am quite surprised how close it taste to the restaurant version. It is normally made in a clay pot but a 2-quart saucepan will suffice. Beware, fish sauce is a very pungent ingredient.
- In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, cook the sugar over low to medium heat, swirling the pan constantly, until brown and caramelized.
- Remove pan from heat and stir the fish sauce into the caramel.
- It will smoke slightly.
- Return the pan to low heat and gently boil for about couple minutes while stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Stir in the shallots, chili and ginger.
- Add the fish in the caramel sauce and sprinkle with black pepper.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan.
- Simmer for 30-45 minutes, turning the fish occasionally and carefully.
- Serve with rice.