Caramelized salmon - Ca Kho tieu



5 min


2 Servings

* PLUS Refrigeration Time: 30 minutes, Cooking time: 30 minutes

Lilly's take on this Vietnamese classic features one of the most Canadian ingredients around: maple syrup.


  • 2 salmon steaks , at least 1-in. thick
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp water
  • 1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3/4 tsp hot-red-chili-flakes
  • 1 garlic clove , minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp fried shallots
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 green onion , thinly sliced


  • Pat salmon steaks dry with paper towels. Place fish on a plate or in a dish. Evenly sprinkle with 1½ tsp (7 mL) granulated sugar. Turn fish and sprinkle opposite side with another 1½ tsp (7 mL) sugar. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 30 min.
  • When ready to cook, stir remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar with maple syrup and water in a large frying pan (not non-stick) set over medium-high heat. As soon as it starts to bubble, stir in oil, fish sauce, pepper flakes and garlic. Reduce heat to medium. Add sugar-coated salmon. Sprinkle half of cracked black pepper over fish. Turn fish, then sprinkle with remaining black pepper. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, turning fish halfway through and stirring sauce often, until caramelized, 25 to 30 min.
  • Remove salmon steaks to warm plates (or to a hotpot dish like Lilly’s) and sprinkle with fried shallots, cilantro and green onion. Delicious served with jasmine rice.