Vietnam – Ca Kho To

by Fauzan Anandika

This New Year’s eve maybe becomes the quiet New Year celebration that we have. Covid 19 pandemics forbid us to gather along with family and friends in a public area. This year, we can only celebrate New Year’s eve in our home for our safety. Some countries that use the lunar calendar, they maybe will have the same experience as us. If this pandemic is still uncontrollable, they also cannot celebrate their New Year’s eve. Like the Vietnamese who use the lunar calendar, the New year celebration has become the most popular event in the whole year. An event they called Tet Nguyên Dán or Tet to make it easier to said.

Tet festival is an event for celebrating the Vietnamese new year at the beginning of the spring season. Tet festival planned to be held around February this year. During the festival, Vietnamese people visiting their relatives and temples to forgive the past and hope for a better future next year. As a host, they will serve you with their authentically delicious food for the guest. Vietnamese dishes use various spices and herbs to create a rich taste in their food. Like one of their dish called Ca Kho To.

Ca Kho To is a seafood dish cook in a clay pot with a sweet and savory taste. Vietnam people use clay pots to make the meat tender and thicken the soup. They serve Ca Kho To as a main dish in Tet festival, marriage, or family gathering. As an ingredient, Vietnamese people use freshwater fish or catfish when they cook Ca Kho To. This type of fish has a sweet taste and tender texture. It could absorb the spice perfectly. For those who do not like to eat catfish, you can substitute it with mackerel. Ca Kho To usually serve with a side of Rau muống xào tỏi

To cook Ca Kho To is easy, and you can use an iron pan if you do not have a clay pot. So, let us cook some Ca Kho To for dinner.


  • 500-gram catfish or mackerel, fillet or sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 shallot, thin sliced
  • 1 cm of ginger, thin sliced
  • 5 red eye chili
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoon pepper powder

Sauce ingredient

  • 50 ml of coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • ½ tablespoon soy sauce

Rau muống xào tỏi ingredient

  • 40-gram water spinach, sliced, and remove the rod part.
  • 2 shallot, thin sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 5 clove of garlic, thin sliced
  • 5 red eyes chili, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

How to cook Rau muống xào tỏi

  1. Prepare a cooking pan, add cooking oil, and cook with medium heat.
  2. Stir fry shallot and garlic.
  3. Add chili.
  4. Add water spinach, salt, and sugar, cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Adjust the taste with sugar and salt.

Sauce preparation

  1. Prepare a cooking pan, heat with a medium fire.
  2. Add coconut water, sugar, fish sauce, and soy sauce.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Set aside.

How to cook

  1. Heat a clay pot or a cooking pan with medium heat.
  2. Add cooking oil and sugar. Cook until the sugar turning brown.
  3. Add garlic, shallot, and ginger. Fry until fragrant.
  4. Add fish, mix slowly. Be careful not to broke the fish.
  5. Add chili and the sauce.
  6. Cook for 20 minutes until the sauce thickened.
  7. Ca Kho To ready to be serve with a side of warm rice and Rau muống xào tỏi
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