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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Ca Chien Sot Ca Chua (Vietnamese Fried Fish with Tomato Sauce)

Ca Chien Sot Ca Chua (Vietnamese Fried Fish with Tomato Sauce) 1

Every time I come back from visiting my parents, they always give me tons of frozen fish. Most of it is fish my dad caught, but sometimes it's fish my mom bought on sale. It doesn't matter that I can buy fish down here. Attempts to stop my parents from sending frozen love are always met with guilty reprimands. It's not always all for me. I dole out portions to my aunts and uncles down here too.

Anyway, this recipe has been sitting in the queue since May 2008. Hmm. I need to get better at blogging my recipes or remaking them because I realized that I don't eat fish as often as I should. I know! So bad of me!

It's not that I don't like fish. It's just that I'm often too lazy to prepare it. So it was great to find a nice fish fillet in one of the frozen batches my parents gave me.

I even mixed brown rice into my white jasmine rice to be a bit healthier. Ha!

Ca Chien Sot Ca Chua (Vietnamese Fried Fish with Tomato Sauce) 2

Ca Chien Sot Ca Chua (Vietnamese Fried Fish with Tomato Sauce)

For 2 servings, you'll need:
2 fish fillets
2 tomatoes, diced
2 shallots, diced or 1/2 of a small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)
1/2 cup water, or more if needed

Dice the tomatoes, shallots, and garlic and add them into a small pot with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp fish sauce, and 1/2 cup water.

Turn the heat to medium. At first the mixture will look chunky but it'll cook down real fast. If the mixture starts to dry out, add water if necessary.

Ca Chien Sot Ca Chua (Vietnamese Fried Fish with Tomato Sauce) 3

Clean the fish fillets and fry on medium heat. Look to see that the fish becomes opaque about halfway through the fillet.

Ca Chien Sot Ca Chua (Vietnamese Fried Fish with Tomato Sauce) 4

Then flip and fry the other side.

Ca Chien Sot Ca Chua (Vietnamese Fried Fish with Tomato Sauce) 5

Five minutes later, or by the time the fish fillet has finished frying, the tomato sauce will have cooked down. Taste and adjust salt or fish sauce or add sugar if necessary.

Ca Chien Sot Ca Chua (Vietnamese Fried Fish with Tomato Sauce) 6

Serve with rice and by spooning the tomato sauce over the fish.

Ca Chien Sot Ca Chua (Vietnamese Fried Fish with Tomato Sauce) 7


My other Vietnamese fish recipes:
Ca Bong Lau Nuong voi Mo Hanh (Vietnamese Roasted Catfish with Scallion Oil)
Ca Hap Gung Hanh (Vietnamese Steamed Fish with Ginger and Scallions)
Ca Kho To (Vietnamese Braised Catfish in a Claypot)
Canh Chua Ca (Vietnamese Sour Fish Soup)
Cha Ca Thang Long (Vietnamese Hanoi-Style Turmeric Fish with Dill)

1 year ago today, Nachos, Texas-style.
2 years ago today, Blood Orange Grapefruit Juice.


  1. My mom is definitely obsessed with keeping my fridge/freezer well stocked. Guilt trips abound if I refuse.


    My mom made this all the time with leftover fried fish. I cannot replicate her dish at all eventhough I used the same ingredients!

  3. Hmmm...I have some frozen fish in the freezer ... guess I know what we will be having for dinner!!!

    Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Ca chien with nuoc mam and com was one of my favorite meals when I was growing up.

  5. I just made this for dinner and it was so tasty. I figured water crests would make a good addition to the dish and it brought some green into the dish. The combine taste was divine.

  6. Andi,
    Sometimes I get tired of lugging a box of frozen fish to and from the airport. But it's nice to know I'm not alone!

    That's the way with so many of my mom's cooking. I do the same steps, but it never turns out the same way.

    Tigger Mum,
    I really need to eat more fish!

    That was my ba noi's favorite. She liked really simple foods.

    That was quick! Thanks for making so many of my recipes!

  7. what kinds of fish would you recommend for this tomato salsa? whenever i ask mom, she runs of fish names in vietnamese. when i get into a market (usually american) -- i have no idea what kind of fish im looking for... help?

  8. Babysugar,
    I've used king mackerel, catfish, salmon, tilapia, anything really. If it's a fish you'd like pan-fried, then it'd work with the tomato sauce. I'd just recommend fish filets instead of the whole fish, so you don't have to deal with bones.


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