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Catfish Claypot with Caramel and Ginger Recipe

Catfish Claypot with Caramel and Ginger Recipe

Ingredients :

    • 750 g–1 kg (11/2–2 lbs) catfish, cod or any other firm white-flesh fish fillets
    • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
    • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
    • One bunch coriander sprigs with stems, minced
    • 3–4 tablespoons fish sauce
    • 3 tablespoons oil
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 shallots, minced
    • 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
    • 3 spring onions, sliced into 3-cm (1-in) long strips, reserve half to garnish

Caramel Syrup :

    • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
    • 4 tablespoons hot water
    • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Method :

    1. Make the Caramel Syrup first by combining the sugar with 2 tablespoons of hot water in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 10–15 minutes, stirring as little as possible.
    2. When the syrup turns dark golden brown and the bubbles become sluggish, remove from the heat and slowly add the rest of the hot water. Return the pot to medium–high heat and mix well for 3 minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Remove from the heat and keep warm. (Take care not to burn the sugar or it will be bitter.)
    3. Rinse the fish fillets and pat dry. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Rub the fish with the ground pepper, ginger, minced coriander and fish sauce in a mixing bowl. Mix well and marinate for 10–15 minutes.
    4. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium claypot or a non-stick frying pan. Quickly sear the fish on both sides, reserving the marinade. Remove from the heat when the fish turn lightly brown and set aside.
    5. Add the remaining oil and fry the minced garlic and shallots over medium heat until light brown and fragrant, about 1–2 minutes. Add the remaining marinade and Caramel Syrup, stir to mix.
    6. Increase the heat to high. Add the fish and cook for 7–10 more minutes until the fish is done. Sprinkle with the lime juice. Stir gently, remove from the heat and add the spring onions and mix gently. Garnish with the remaining spring onions and serve with steamed rice.

Serves 4–6 

Preparation time : 20 mins
Cooking time : 45 mins

The sauce should be thick and syrupy, coating the fish nicely. If the sauce is too watery, take out the fish, then increase the heat to high. Cook until the sauce is reduced and thickened. Return the fish to the thick sauce and heat through before serving.