Vietnamese Caramelized & Braised Catfish Recipe


  • 1 pound catfish filets (bone and skin optional)
  • salt to clean the fish


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ yellow onion, sliced

seasoning & cooking liquid

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons fish sauce
  • About ½ teaspoon thick soy sauce
  • ½ cup water & ½ cup coconut juice (OR 1 cup coconut soda)
  • 1 chile, sliced (to taste, optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper (you can add it here, or as a final topping when serving the fish)


  • 1 stalk chopped green onion (scallion)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 sliced red chile (optional)

Vietnamese Caramelized & Braised Catfish Recipe


  1. Generously salt fish and rinse under water to clean it. Set aside to dry.
  2. Add oil to a pan and saute garlic over medium heat until lightly browned.
  3. Layer onion on top, then the fish, evenly spaced.
  4. Add the seasoning & cooking liquid (& optional chiles) and turn the heat to high until boiling. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning.
  5. Bring it to a simmer for ~20 minutes. Adjust seasoning if needed.
  6. Gently flip the filets of fish over and simmer for a final ~10 minutes with the lid partially covered.
  7. Stand there to watch it the final ~10 minutes to prevent it from burning! During this time you can continually spoon the sauce over the fish.
  8. Add green onion during last 2 minutes to wilt & top with sliced chiles, and some freshly ground black pepper.
Source: Hungry Huy


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