Vietnamese Claypot Catfish
You'll need Asian fish sauce for this recipe, but it is easily available in large supermarkets, and, obviously, in Asian markets. In a pinch you can substitute Worcestershire, but it's really not the same. I also call for lard, which really makes a difference in flavor; you can use oil if you must. Serve this with plain white rice and a beer.
Servings: 4 people
- 2 pounds catfish steaks
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons lard
- 3 garlic cloves, slivered
- 3 scallions, cut into 1 inch lengths
- 1-2 hot chiles, such as Thai or serrano
Mix the brown sugar, black pepper, molasses and fish sauce and coat the fish in it. Let this stand for 15-30 minutes.
In a pot just large enough to contain the fish, heat the lard over high heat and saute the garlic, chile and scallions for 1-2 minutes. Do not let them brown.
Add the catfish and all the marinade. Mix well, turn the heat down to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Pour in enough water to almost cover the catfish, then turn the heat to medium-high. Cook this uncovered until the sauce reduces by half, about 10-15 minutes. Be sure to turn over the fish a couple times so both sides get coated by the sauce.
Turn out the fish into a bowl, and serve with white rice. Have a bowl on the table for everyone's fish bones.