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Vietnamese Caramel Bluefish

October 4, 2020
from NYT Cooking


  • 4 (6-ounce) skin-on bluefish fillets (or substitute mackerel, trout or thin salmon fillets)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut, grapeseed or safflower oil
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, or use lemon or lime zest (see note)
  •  cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  •  Sliced scallions, as needed
  •  Thinly sliced jalapeño, as needed
  •  Fresh cilantro, as needed
  •  Cooked rice, for serving (optional)


  1. Brush fish all over with oil. Remove outer layer of lemongrass stalk and cut stalk into 2-inch lengths. Using the butt of a kitchen knife, pound and bruise stalks all over.
  2. Place lemongrass pieces, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, ginger and black pepper in a large skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and reduce sauce for 1 to 2 minutes, until syrupy.
  3. Place fish, skin side-down, in pan. Simmer, basting fish frequently with pan sauce, for 2 minutes; carefully turn fish and continue cooking until fish is just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
  4. Transfer fish to a serving plate and garnish with scallion, jalapeño and cilantro. Drizzle with additional sauce. Serve over rice, if desired.


  • If you can’t get lemongrass, peel a 2-inch strip of lemon or lime zest with a peeler and use that instead. You don’t need to bruise the peel.

From → Lemon, Recipes, seafood

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