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The Boston Globe

Food & dining

Recipe for Vietnamese clay pot catfish

Serves 4

The clay vessel in which the caramelized catfish cooks gives this dish its name, but you can use any pot large enough to fit all the fish in a single layer. Called ca kho to, the dish is typically eaten after a few days to allow flavors to develop. “Unfortunately, I don’t have the patience to wait two or three days,” explains author Andrew Pham, whose shortcut involves cooling the fish to room temperature, then reheating it at serving time. The fish contracts as it cools, then expands in the hot sauce. If you have time, refrigerate overnight and the next day add a bit of water and bring to a simmer before serving.

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