Caramel fish with galangal

Caramel fish with galangal

By
From
Vietnamese Street Food
Serves
6
Photographer
Michael Fountoulakis

This dish is prepared using carp at roadside stops in the Mekong Delta. Along Vietnam’s almost 3000-kilometre coastline, it is made with mackerel. The version below, which uses galangal and coconut milk, is typical of the southern beach town of Nha Trang.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3-4 mackerel fillets, 2–3 cm thick
3 red asian shallots, finely diced
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra pinch
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
oil, for frying
150ml coconut milk
3 cm knob galangal, peeled and cut into thin strips
1 long red chilli, cut into 5 mm rings
4 spring onions, sliced
1/2 handful coriander sprigs

Method

  1. Combine the mackerel with the shallots, 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce and the pepper and set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put the sugar and 1½ tablespoons water in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and then cook until the sugar is a rich golden colour. Pour in 250 ml of water, standing away from the pan. When the spluttering has stopped, stir until the caramel sauce is smooth.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and brown the mackerel on both sides. Add the caramel sauce, coconut milk, galangal, chilli and remaining fish sauce. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.
  4. Transfer the fish and sauce to a clay pot or casserole dish, cover and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for a further 4–5 minutes.
  5. Serve the fish in the clay pot, sprinkled with the extra pepper, spring onions and coriander.
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