Cá Kho Tộ [With SakanaBlue Farmed Kagoshima Yellowtail]
Chef Tu David Phu
There’s more to Vietnamese Cuisine than just Pho, Banh-Mi, and Summer-Rolls. And If you truly want to know what Vietnamese Cuisine is all about, you’ll have to try “Cá Kho Tộ” which means “Fish Braised in a Clay Pot. ”Unlike any other Vietnamese Dish, this recipe consists of Vietnam’s staple ingredients [fish sauce, palm sugar, peppercorns, and fish]. And it is my argument, that there isn’t any other recipe that highlights Vietnam’s heritage and history, more than “Cá Kho Tộ. In the Vietnamese-America Diaspora, Catfish (an economical choice for most refugee communities) is commonly used for this recipe. However, this cooking technique can be applied to almost any other type of seafood. My favorite is Sakana Blue Yellowtail (aka Hamachi) because it braises like pork-belly due to its high-fat content; succulent, juicy, and tender.
- 2 cups palm sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup Son Fish Sauce
2 tbsp. Spice Tribe Late Harvest Black Peppercorns
- ½ each Serrano Pepper
- ¼ cup Sliced Ginger (Cut into Match Sticks)
- 1 tbsp. Minced Lemongrass (Can sub out fresh lemongrass for our Spice Tribe Floral Lemongrass)
- 2.5 lbs. Sakana Blue Yellowtail (Farmed) Cut into 3 oz. Chunks.
- ½ cup Coconut Water
- Preheat a heavy-bottom (4 Qt.) pot on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of Palm Sugar and 1/4 cup of water.
- Allow the pot to boil (undisturbed) until a deep amber caramel forms, or 20 minutes.
- Gradually add 1/2 cup of Son Fish Sauce to the caramel.
- Then add 2 tbsp. of Cracked Black Pepper, 1/2 a Serrano, 1/4 cup of Sliced Ginger, 1 tbsp. of Minced Lemongrass, and 1/2 cup of Coconut Water.
- Allow the pot to boil (undisturbed) until the pot has reduced by 15%, or 30 minutes.
- Turn the pot down to a simmer. Then gently add your Yellowtail portions.
- Bring the pot to a simmer.
- Braise the Yellowtail for 30 minutes, at a gentle simmer.
- Present braised fish in a large clay or ceramic pot.
- Garnish with chives, sliced serranos, and Thai bird chili.
- Serve with a side of rice.
- The SakanaBlue project honors Japanese fisheries (and fish farms) that implement place-based sustainability that is committed to environmentally responsible practices. What does that mean? It means Sashimi quality fish with a LOW-CARBON footprint; container shipped rather than air freight. Cutting edge alcohol freezing technology that eliminates ice crystals that keeps the fish pristine. AND fish that is traceable for transparency around animal welfare.
- This recipe is traditionally cooked in an earthenware pot over a fire. However, most home kitchens are electric. This recipe was modified to use a metal pot, oppose to a clay pot, to accommodate kitchens that have electric stoves and ranges.