Vietnamese Claypot Fish

Vietnamese Claypot Fish

Andrew Pham
Cuisine Vietnamese


  • 1 pot large enough so that all the fish pieces can be lined in a single layer at the bottom.


  • 2 cloves garlic crushed and chopped
  • 2 Thai chilis cut in half lengthwise (or more or less, to taste)
  • 1 pound fish cut into steaks
  • 3 oz sliced pork belly if using fillets or fish with low fat content like trout or snapper
  • 1 to 2 cups water

Sauce mix

  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 tsp coconut caramel see recipe
  • 1 cup warm water


  • julienne green mango or green papaya


  • Layer ingredients into pot in the following order: garlic, chili, sliced pork belly (if using low-fat fish), fish, and sauce mix.
  • Add enough water to just barely cover the fish.
  • Bring to a boil on medium heat for 1 minute.
  • Lower heat and simmer gently for 20 to 30 minutes until roughly ¼ to ½ cup of sauce remains in the pot.
  • Adjust sauce to taste by adding more fish sauce, chili, and/or coconut caramel (add in small increments and taste again).
  • Simmer 2 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and serve.


Recommended fish are baramundi, tilapia, and catfish. Acceptable fish are trout, snapper, and grouper. Most similar white-meat fish with good fat content are ideal. For deeper flavors, start with whole fish rather than fillets.
Pineapple chunks, pieces of fresh coconut meat, or sugar cane batons can be also be added to the pot for variety.
Optional: use 2-fires technique to deepen flavors:
Let pot rest until it reaches room temperature (refrigerate to shorten time).
Carefully, turn each piece of fish over.
Add ¾ to 1 cup of water.
Bring to a boil on medium heat and then simmer on low heat (about 20minutes) until sauce reduces to ½ cup once more.
Plate, garnish with chopped spring onions (optional), and serve.