This isn’t exactly Cá Kho Tộ, the yummy braised fish dish common in the south of Vietnam – but it’s along the same lines. I used monkfish instead of catfish and a cast iron pan instead of a clay pot. Monkfish is great for braising because it retains its firm texture. I used lots of Vietnamese fish sauce and just a little bit of caramel sauce (not home-made – I bought it at an Asian market) and I used ginger and lime (mea culpa) and hot chilis and I cut up a few pieces of fresh pineapple and tossed them in (don’t tell anyone). I served it with red cargo rice and steamed veggies and garnished it with those dry fried onions (which come in handy jars in Asian markets)
This is the first time I’ve tried red cargo rice. I’ve been curious about it so the other day I invested $4.00 in the only size package my local No Frills had on hand (pretty large). Red cargo rice is a long-grain, unpolished, non-glutinous rice with a remarkable reddish colour. Red cargo rice is hulled but the bran is left on. It’s firm and a little chewy with a slightly sweet and nutty flavour. I have to say I like it a lot.