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caramelized catfish clay pot

Caramelized Catfish Clay Pot

Lip smacking catfish cooked in tasty caramelized sauce which is made of three incredible ingredients (no sugar added).
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 2 people


  • Clay pot OR
  • Stainless steel pot
  • Shallow pan for fried blanching
  • Big plate lined with oil absorbed paper


  • 3 piece catfish steak clean, pad dry
  • 3 clove garlic minced
  • 2 shallot minced
  • green onion chopped, for garnish
  • black pepper as needed
  • steamed rice as needed

Caramelized Sauce

  • ½ c sweet soy sauce
  • ¼ c fish sauce 33N or 40N (adjust water amount below accordingly)
  • ¼ c mirin
  • ½ c water if using 33N fish sauce
  • ¾ c water if using 40N fish sauce


For caramelized sauce:

  • In a clay pot or stainless steel pot, heat one tbsp of vegetable oil, add minced garlic and shallot. Cook for 2 minutes or until garlic turn golden brown.
  • Add all ingredients for caramelized sauce in. Bring to boil and reduce the heat to simmer for 10 minutes or until the mixture reduced by half.

Blanch catfish

  • In a meantime, fill 2 cups of oil in a shallow pan, make sure the oil reach at least 350F. Quickly add each piece of catfish in and cook for 1 minute each side.
  • Place blanched catfish on plate with oil absorbed paper to get rid of excess oil.

Cook caramelized catfish

  • After the caramelized sauce is reduced by half, carefully add blanched catfish in piece by piece. Bring the heat to medium high and continue cooking.
  • The sauce will form many bubbles on top of the catfish surface, this is totally normal. Just remember keep an eye on the pot. DO NOT go anywhere or multi task at this point.
  • Cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the sauce reduce almost by half again. You can check the consistency of the sauce by using the back of a spoon. Dip a spoon into the sauce, if it is coated with the sauce and there is no dripping down. The sauce is done.
  • Turn off the heat. Add ground black pepper and chopped green onion for garnish. Enjoy with a hot bowl of steamed rice.