Cá Kho Instant Pot (Vietnamese Braised Fish)

  • Servings: 2 to 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Author: Katie Le | Katie’s Test Kitchen


    Perfect for 3-quart Instant Pot **If you are using 6 or 8-quart, please add more Coco Rico Soda to cover the bottom surface so it won’t burn.
  • 1 lb of fish steak (white fish such as Swai and Cat fish work well, but salmon is good too; the preference is bone-in but you can use fillet)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of Coco Rico Soda or Coconut Water
  • cooking oil (I used olive)
  • 1 shallot (minced)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 green onion (minced white part, coarsely chopped green part to garnish)
  • fresh chili (thinly sliced)
  • ground pepper
  • Marinade Sauce

  • 3 tbsp of good fish sauce (I used Red Boat!)
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of coconut caramel sauce (for color, you can make your own caramel if you wish); see FAQs #8 for photo reference
  • 1/4 tsp of ground pepper


1. Clean fish well with salt, rinse and pat dry.  In a small bowl mix well all items under “Marinade Sauce”.  Add the minced white part onion and 1/2 of minced garlic and shallot to the marinade and pour on top of the fish.  Allow it to marinate for about 15 minutes or longer.


2. Select Saute mode on Instant Pot, add about 1 tbsp of cooking oil (or more to cover the surface).  Once the oil is hot add the remainder minced garlic/shallot and saute until fragrant.  Gently add fish along with its marinade sauce.


3. After searing for 2-3 minutes gently flip the fish to the other side and continue for another 2 minutes.  Add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup (depending on how much sauce you want) of Coco Rico Soda/Coconut Water.  Adjust the sauce to your taste if necessary with more sugar or fish sauce.  Close lid, select Pressure Cook/Manual, LOW Pressure, 5 minutes, QR.  Please note to reduce cook time to 3 minutes if using fillets.


4. Once the cook time is up, immediately Quick Release and switch to Saute mode to reduce the liquid.  Continue on Saute mode until liquid thickens to your liking (about 3 to 5 minutes).  Occasionally use a spoon to scoop the sauce and pour on top of the fish.  Turn off IP and remove fish.


5. Garnish with green onion, sliced chili and ground pepper.  Braised fish is rich and salty so it goes well with fresh vegetables such as cucumber, tomato, lettuce and/or Vietnamese herbs.  Serve with a nice hot bowl of rice!

Happy Cooking!



11 Comments on “Cá Kho Instant Pot (Vietnamese Braised Fish)”

    • Hi Meesh, try adding a little bit more caramel sauce next time. That’s really much it. Then saute long enough to get that color.

  1. The flavor was really good but only the two surfaces absorbed the sauce. It’s probably due to using a 8qt pot. I’ll try again with adding enough coco soda to cover the fish so that the sauce reduction time can be longer for the fish to fully absorb the flavors.

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