Cookbook Challenge W17 (Vietnamese) Caramelised fish with pineapple

Cookbook Challenge

Many of twitter friends has heard me moan and whinge about the Metro last week. The trains are late almost everyday for the last 3 weeks. It is such a failure and it’s frustrating during peak hours to travel in jam packed trains. The current transportation system is just not ‘smart’ and ‘fit’ enough to handle the increased population. It gets worse when it gets hit with extreme weather conditions.

Some of you may not be aware of our recent flood and hail that happened in Melbourne. We were fortunate to be home. The hail stones were as big as golf balls! And have a look at one of the many videos that can be found on YouTube.

But enough of my ramblings. For this week challenge, I really wanted to make the beef pho but as it is very time consuming, I will have to leave it for another day. It is near the end of a work project and so things are a little crazy at the moment. Our weekends are always packed with errands to run, challenges to cook and places to eat! I am not complaining. I will glad do this every single day! ;)

Anyway, Mister was in charge of getting groceries as I attended a TEDx Melbourne event in the city. I am now completely in love with Temple Grandin. She is such an inspiration and here the video that explains why the world needs different minds.

Ok. Now back to the recipe that I adapted from the book that I love very much – The Songs of SAPA by Luke Nguyen. The recipe has recommended Mackerel but Mister was unable to find any in Victoria market and so he settled for cutlets of Yellow tail Kingfish. It was not ideal but it will have to make do and I am thankful that I had fish to cook the dish! :)

Marinating fish

Fish marinating in bowl

Cubed pineapples

Cubed pineapples


  • 1kg Yellow tail King fish butlets but recommend using Mackeral cutlets, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp of finely chopped spring onions + more finely chopped spring onion for garnish
  • 31/2 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of dark soy sauce
  • 2tsp of oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp of sugar
  • 500g of chopped pineapples
  • 350ml of water/ chicken stock
  • 11/2 tbsp of hot chilli garlic oil (finely chop garlic and chilli, add 1 tbsp of oil and microwave on high for 1 min – Mister’s recipe!)
  • 2 -3 chillies
  • Finely chopped coriander for garnish

Remaining marinate liquid

Chilli and garlic in oil

Chilli and garlic in oil


  1. Use half the garlic, 2tbsp spring onions, fish sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar and 1tsp of salt to coat the fish. Marinate the fish for at least 15mins and please serve the marinate for use later
  2. Heat the pan with oil and add the cubed pineapple and stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Remove. Add more oil and brown the fish over medium heat.
  3. Once the fish is browned on both sides, add the pineapple and the stock. Bring to boil. Remove any scum and turn down the heat to low. Simmer without any cover for at least 2omins or until stock level is halved
  4. Remove the fish first. Add the remaining garlic and hot chilli garlic oil to the pot along with black pepper to the sauce and stir to combine
  5. Spoon sauce over the fish. Garnish with fresh coriander, spring onions and/or fresh chilli
Caramelised fish with pineapple

Caramelised fish with pineapple

We had it with a fried egg and a side of freshly chopped cucumbers. It had a very rich flavour from the sweet sauce. The pineapple did not overpower the dish at all. The fish took in the flavours really well except that it was a little too flakey for a recipe like this. We will definitely make this again. it was fitting for a rather cold autumn night.

Where do you draw your inspiration from to move on when you are down?

Please visit the rest of the delicious recipes from fellow bloggers:

Leigh from Chit Chat ChompVietnamese beef pho with star anise & aromatic herbs
Silvermoon Dragon from Dragon MusingsStrawberry peach Vietnamese milkshake
Ange from Vicious AngeVietnamese chicken salad
Carolyn from Gluten ShmootenVietnamese beef pho
Anthea from What’s For Tea?Omelette of pork mince, preserved radish & spring onion; Wok tossed bok choy with bamboo shoots & shiitake mushrooms
Yen from Food for FourVietnamese spring rolls with vermicelli noodles
Shellie from Iron Chef ShellieAromatic Vietnamese beef curry
Rizka from ini, ituVietnamese fried chicken (ga chien) with Vietnamese tomato rice (com sot ca chua) served with nuoc cham
Bri from Bri EatsFresh mango salad
Agnes from Off the SporkVietnamese chicken salad; Vietnamese crème caramel
Jo from Second HelpingBeef & lemongrass wrapped in betel leaf (bo la lot); Soft rice paper rolls with prawn & pork (goi cuon); Hoi sin dipping sauce (nuoc tuong ngot); Soy & honey barbecued prawns (tom nuong); Master stock chicken, shredded cabbage & Vietnamese mint salad
Sarah from The Sugar JunkieSpring rolls; Banh gan (coconut crème caramel)
Kate from Something by KateChicken with Vietnamese caramel sauce