Fish cooked in caramel sauce may not sound appetising and yet it’s one of the yummiest things. Take your time to get the caramel right and this recipe from Luke Nguyen will be a sure success.






Skill level

Average: 2.5 (146 votes)



  • 1 tbsp sugar 
  • 3 tbsp water


  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed 
  • 500 g firm white fish cutlets such as blue eye, cut into large pieces 
  • 1 tbsp first-grade fish sauce (nuoc mam nhi) 
  • 3 tbsp water 
  • 3 spring onions, white part only, sliced 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • ½ tbsp potato starch, mixed to a smooth paste with a little water 
  • 3 tbsp chopped garlic chives 
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander 
  • ¼ tsp pepper 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make the caramel, put the sugar in a small saucepan and melt over medium heat. Cook until it turns dark brown. Add the water, reduce the heat to low and cook until the sugar blends into the water and the mixture becomes syrupy. Remove from the heat.

Heat the oil in a clay pot (or saucepan) and add the garlic. Fry until golden then add the fish. Stir in the caramel and cook for about 5 minutes until the fish changes colour.

Add the fish sauce, water, spring onion and salt. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the potato starch and cook until the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat and add the chives, coriander and pepper. Serve with steamed rice.