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Catfish Cooked in a Clay Pot (Cá Kho Tộ)

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Product Description

Wonderfully easy and tasty, this Southern-style Vietnamese dish, called Cá Kho Tộ, is a classic.  In the South of Vietnam, clay pots are regularly used for cooking and they enhace both the look and taste of this traditional dish.

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Serves Four


  • 30ml/2 tablespoon (tbsp) sugar
  • 15ml/1 tbsp sesame or vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 45ml/3 tbsp nuoc mam (fish sauce)
  • 350g/12oz catfish fillet, cut diagonally into 2 or 3 pieces
  • 4 spring onions (scallions), cut into bitesize pieces
  • Ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh coriander (cilantro), to garnish
  • fresh bread or steamed rice, to serve


  1. Place the sugar in a clay pot or heavy pan, and add 15ml / 1 tablespoon water to wet it.  Heat the sugar until it begins to turn golden brown, then add the oil and crushed garlic.
  2. Stir the nuoc mam into the caramel mixture and add 120ml / 4fl oz / ½ cup boiling water, then toss in the catfish pieces, making sure they are well coated with the sauce.  Cover the pot, reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid, season with ground black pepper and gently stir in the spring onions (hanh la).  Simmer for a further 3-4 minutes to thicken the sauce, garnish with fresh coriander, and serve immediately straight from the pot with chunks of fresh bread or steamed rice.

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