Caramelized Black-Pepper Fish

"This is a Vietnamese recipe from the website The last 2 ingredients are for the garnish."
photo by Muffin Goddess photo by Muffin Goddess
photo by Muffin Goddess
photo by Michelle Berteig photo by Michelle Berteig
Ready In:




  • Heat oil (in a skillet large enough to hold the fish) over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they soften (lower the heat if they start to brown) Transfer them to a small bowl and set aside.
  • Add sugar, fish sauce, and water to the skillet. Over medium heat, cook the mixture for about 5 minutes, until it starts to turn brown and there are large bubbles throughout. Sprinkle in the pepper and the cooked shallots and cook for a minute more. Add the fish and cook, turning gently with a spatula every three minutes or so, until it is coated evenly with thickened caramel sauce, and just cooked through, 8-10 minutes. (you can add a few tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the pan seems too dry).
  • Sprinkle with scallions and cilantro. Serve with steamed rice and a simple green vegetable.

Questions & Replies

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  1. stephanie s.
    Made this with fresh frozen mackerel and my own homemade caramel sauce plus fish sauce, ginger, etc. This is wonderful for fatty fish i.e. sardines, salmon. The sauce flavors the fish so well. This is going into my international seafood category along with the Bok Choy recipe and white rice. Really good.
  2. Muffin Goddess
    Loved this fish! The flavors in this are perfect, and it's really simple to make. I made this with some sticky rice and Recipe#441847. This was a company-worthy meal, and would definitely make this again. Thanks for posting! Made for The Hot Pink Panthers for ZWT9 Family Picks
  3. Michelle Berteig
    This was great, the sauce was tasty and had the right amount of pepper in it, and the whole thing was very easy to make. Family loved it and this is going into the favorites file! Made for the Hot Pink Panthers on the Prowl for ZWT9 Zingo.
  4. evelynathens
    This is sensational - and so easy! The sweet and savoury sauce was a breeze to make and really complemented the fish (I actually used tilapia). A keeper.


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