Quick and Delicious Fish Stew: Add this secret ingredient for tender and flavorful fish

Braised catfish with caramelized sauce is a popular and tantalizing dish in Vietnamese cuisine, but not everyone knows how to quickly braise the fish to ensure the tender meat and prevent it from becoming fishy.


Ca kho như xuong is a delicious dish that many people love, but some people hesitate to cook kho for a long time and are afraid that the fish will become mushy. However, the following tips will help you cook kho quickly, even in a modern kitchen without using charcoal.

Traditional kho requires 8-12 hours or even 24 hours of cooking, marinating the fish in charcoal, wood fire… However, now you can cook kho fish without having to watch over the stove by using an electric pot. Ca kho with bone not only has flavorful and fragrant fish meat, but it also adds calcium from the bones.

How to prepare the fish to prevent it from having a fishy smell when cooking kho:

When you buy the fish, remember to clean and scale it, remove the fins and tail because these are dirty areas that contain many harmful substances that create a fishy smell. Scrape off the black membrane from the fish’s belly as it is very fishy and contains bacteria and heavy metals. Rub the fish with salt to remove any slime and reduce fishy smell. Then rinse the fish with ginger wine or tea water.

Seasoning to make the kho fish flavorful and non-fishy:

– Fresh lime: Squeeze lime juice, remove the seeds and place the lime peel at the bottom of the pot.

– Fresh tea leaves: Place fresh tea leaves at the bottom of the pot to make the fish firm and non-fishy with a pleasant aroma.

– Pickled vegetables or vinegar: Pickled vegetables can also be used when cooking kho to make the fish firm and non-fishy.

– Soy sauce: Cooking kho with soy sauce also helps make the fish delicious and non-fishy.

– Green bananas: Use whole green bananas, including the peel, as the bitter taste also helps reduce fishy smell and make the fish more firm.

– Tamarind fruit: Adding tamarind to kho fish also gives the fish a pleasant smell, firm meat, and beautiful color.

Spices: Galangal and lemongrass also add fragrance and reduce fishy smell.

Depending on your taste, you can cook kho fish with bananas, pickled vegetables, soy sauce, or galangal and lemongrass.

To make the fish quickly firm and tender: use boiling water and vinegar

To make the kho fish tender and firm, after preparing the fish, pour boiling water over the surface of the fish. When the fish comes into contact with boiling water, it will contract quickly, reducing the release of amino acids during the cooking process, thereby reducing fishy smell and retaining the sweetness in the fish meat, making it firm. Use boiling water when adding the fish to the pot as well. Never use cold water.

If the fish is boneless, add a little vinegar or lime juice to prevent it from becoming fishy and make the bones inside tender quickly.

If you want the kho fish to have a distinctive aroma and a spicy taste, you can use green chili instead of red chili.

Using tea leaves at the bottom of the pot when cooking kho fish helps prevent the fish from becoming fishy and keeps the meat firm.

If you want to enjoy the fish with a sweet flavor, place sliced ​​sugarcane at the bottom of the pot. The burnt sugarcane aroma adds a fragrant smell to the kho fish, especially when cooking kho with soy sauce or galangal and lemongrass.

If you want the kho fish to be greasy, you can add pork lard at the bottom of the pot. It not only prevents the pot from burning but also adds a fragrant sticky substance to the kho fish.

How to kho fish quickly using an electric pot without consuming much time in the kitchen, the fish becomes tender quickly

If you live in an urban area and do not have a charcoal stove, you can use an electric pot to cook kho. Place a layer of supporting ingredients at the bottom of the pot: pork lard, tea leaves, galangal, lemongrass… (Depending on your preference, choose the supporting ingredient that matches your taste and place it at the bottom to prevent the pot from burning and to rub the fish meat onto it)

Place the fish in the pot and arrange the remaining supporting ingredients. Pour hot water over the fish, add the remaining seasonings, and turn on the stove. The water level should cover the fish.

Then add hot water to make the fish firm. Cook the kho fish multiple times by letting it boil for about 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to let the fish absorb the seasonings, then turn up the heat again to boil and reduce the heat to let the fish absorb the seasonings. Finally, cook until the water is almost evaporated. You should continue to occasionally turn up the heat to reheat the pot and then reduce the heat to let it simmer. Let the fish simmer for about 8 hours, then turn up the heat again and let the water evaporate. At that time, the fish will be tender with flavorful meat. Cooking kho fish in an electric pot allows the fish to slowly cook and the bones to tenderize gradually without the need to watch over the stove. During the cooking process, you can leave the house for 1 to 2 hours.

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