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Vietnamese caramelized salmon
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4.55 from 22 votes

Vietnamese Caramelized Salmon (Ca Hoi Kho)

A super simple weeknight meal that includes salmon caramelized with fish sauce and dark brown sugar and served with minced shallots, ginger, and garlic.
Prep Time1 hr 10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: ca hoi kho, Vietnamese caramelized salmon
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 321kcal
Author: Becca Du



  • Combine the salmon, fish sauce, and pepper in a bowl. Coat the salmon with the pepper and fish sauce. Marinate for 1 hour.
  • Once done marinating, separate the marinade from the salmon. Set the marinade aside for later.
  • Combine dark brown sugar and oil in a large pan. Heat and stir over medium high heat until the sugar melts and becomes a dark brown color.
  • Add the salmon. Sear until brown on both sides (~30 seconds per side).
  • Add the ginger, shallots, and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds.
  • Lower the heat to low. Add the marinade you reserved from step 2. Simmer on low for 10 minutes. Turn the salmon after 5 minutes so both sides get even caramelization.
  • Add the green onions. Stir in the green onions and serve!


  1. Why do you have to separate the salmon from the marinade? - Separating the marinade helps you get the nice sear on the salmon. If you were to add the salmon with the marinade, you won't be able to get a nice sear.
  2. What do I do if my dish looks a little dry? - After you add the marinade back to the salmon and simmer, you may find that the dish may look like a little dry for you or you may not have enough sauce. If this happens, add a little bit of water.
  3. What do I eat with this salmon dish? - I would recommend white rice. Because there are such intense flavors, you need something more bland to balance it out. I would also recommend fresh veggies as well like raw cucumbers or lettuce.


Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 1481mg | Potassium: 834mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 92IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg