Saturday, November 28, 2015

Vietnamese Braised Salmon Belly (serves 2-3 as part of shared meal)

Vietnamese braised fish or ca kho
This braised salmon belly is known as "ca kho" in Vietnamese. It is a classic and popular dish that is often eaten with steamed rice and fresh or steamed vegetables and herbs. Such a dish can last several meals. The savory liquid can be used to extend by more than one meal as a dip for steamed vegetables. I have never seen salmon belly sold in stores in the Mainland (US). I was lucky to come across some on Maui. The belly is great for this particular dish because it has a lot of fat and this prevents it from drying out even when cooking for prolonged period of time. I like garlic so I use a lot of it. You can scale down if you prefer less garlic breath! I also season this dish according to my taste. When you make yours just season it to your own personal taste.

Vietnamese Braised Salmon Belly (serves 2-3 as part of shared meal)


1 lb salmon belly (preferably with de-scaled skin on), cut into 2-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp oil
1 1/2 tsp raw sugar
About 1/4 cup coconut water


1) Marinade the salmon with garlic, fish sauce and soy sauce for 15-20 minutes in the refrigerator.
2) Heat oil in a small pot over medium high heat.
3) Once the oil is hot add the marinaded fish. Cook for 5 minutes on each side.
4) Sprinkle raw sugar over the fish and add coconut water. Cook until the liquid is reduced by about half to a third. May season further with fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar according to your taste before turning off the heat.

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