Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mom's Recipes: Cá Kho (Braised Fish)

Like any good Vietnamese person, my mom eats a lot of fish. As we were shopping at one of the Asian supermarkets, she saw blue mackerel that looked fresh and wanted to eat fish. I thought it would be my opportunity to learn how to make cá kho (braised fish). It is very flavourful, and as my mom puts it sadly (for fear of getting fat), requires you to eat a lot of rice. I personally enjoy the chunks of tomatoes.

Cá Kho (Braised Fish)
This dish typically uses caramel (like Wandering Chopsticks' recipe) but my mom just uses soy sauce and sugar. You can use any fish. For a while, my mom used salmon steaks. The key is to allow the flavours to absorb.

* 4 plum tomatoes, sliced
* 3 blue mackerels, cleaned and cut into pieces
* 1 onion, sliced
* 2-½ Tbsp sugar, or to taste
* 1 tbsp salt, or to taste
* 1 tsp ground pepper, or to taste
* 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
* dried chilis, to taste

Lay the tomatoes at the bottom of a big pot.
Place the pieces of fish next and then the onion slices on top.
Add all of the seasoning.
Let it sit for a couple of hours (or overnight) to let the seasoning flavour the fish.
Cook at low heat.
About half an hour into it, turn the pieces of fish.
Cook for about an hour (or longer if you did not get a chance to let the flavours sit).
Serve with rice.

The unappealing raw fish.

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