Vietnamese Crispy Skin Catfish Recipe

Vietnamese Crispy Skin Catfish Recipe
3.5/5 - (2 votes)

This crispy skin catfish recipe is one of my most favorite fish dish. It took me so many tries to finally get the desirable level of crispiness on the skin, but don’t worry, the process is actually quite simple. If you follow the exact steps below, I ensure that you’ll get a perfectly baked fish with tasty and crunchy skins!

The dish is actually perfect for family gathering occasions because it is both delicious and healthy; it is rolled with rice paper along with lots of greens.

I hope that you’re just as excited as I am to make this dish.

Let’s go!

You can also watch the video for details on Grilled Pork Skewers Recipe below:


4-6 People

Ingredients - Vietnamese Crispy Skin Catfish Recipe

  • 4 lbs (1.8 kg) catfish (skin cleaned and belly slit)
  • 1 tsp (4 g) salt
  • 1 tsp (4 g) pepper
  • 1 bunch of green onion (chopped)
  • 1 package/bag of peanuts (uncooked)

      Fried Shallots/Shallot Oil:

  • 1 cup (250 g) shallots (sliced)
  • 2 cup (500 ml) vegetable oil

      Basing Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp (22 ml) shallot oil
  • 3/4 tbsp (11 ml)
    • soy sauce
    • honey
    • water

     Dipping Sauce:


8" Alpha Frying Pan 

If you are interested in this pan, please follow this Amazon affiliate link to purchase:


Basing Sauce

  • Put all the ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well
catfish - basing sauce

Fried Shallots / Shallot Oil

  1. In a small pan, pour in the oil and add the shallots. Make sure to spread the shallots out so that the oil covers them.
  2. Fry until shallots turn slightly golden brown.
  3. Remove the shallots and place on a paper towel covered plate to absorb the oil.
  4. Pour the oil in pan into a container for use in later steps.
Catfish - Fried Shallots in oil
catfish - fried shallots


NOTE: Many Asian supermarket will clean the skin and slit the belly for you. If not, you must scrub the skin with an aluminum sponge until it’s white and slit the belly from the tail to the head. Also, ensure that the fish is dry.

1. Place the catfish in a container. Rub the skin with 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper.

2. Turn the fish over. Use paper towel to pad dry the inside and rub the inside with 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper.

3. Turn the fish over again. Use paper towel to rub the back and side to ensure it’s dry.

4. Preheat oven to 450 F (232 C) degree.

5. In a small bowl, add the green onions and 1 1/2 tbsp (22 ml) shallots oil. Microwave for 30 seconds and set aside.

6. In a pan, add the peanuts and 1 1/2 tbsp of salt and roast until slightly golden brown. Once cooled, remove the skins.

Catfish - prep 2
Catfish - roasted peanuts


1. Once the oven reached 450 F (232 C), place the fish onto a tray (you can cover the tray with aluminum foil to protect the tray) and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

2. After 30 minutes, increase heat to 475 F (246 C). Turn the fish tray around and cook for another 20 minutes.

3. After 20 minutes, increase heat to 500 F (260 C) broiling for 10 minutes.

4. After 10 minutes, open oven and brush the basing sauce thoroughly onto the fish skin. Broil for another 1-2 minutes, but it’s important to watch the fish through the window at this point. Depending on the btu of your oven it could be shorter or longer before the skin turns golden yellow.

5. Once you see that the skin is the right color, take it out. You can brush any left over basing sauce on the skin at this point.

Catfish - cooking part 1
Catfish - cooking part 4
Catfish - cooking part 5
Catfish - completed

And there you have it, an amazing and delicious Vietnamese crispy skin catfish!

This can be served with a big batch of greens like lettuce, cucumber, and anything else you’d like. For the dipping sauce, please follow the link provided above. I guarantee that it’s the perfect dip for the fish.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and your meal.

Thank you for reading and let me know if you have any question.

If you enjoyed this recipe, please check out my other recipes here:

Crawfish - feature image
Boiling Crab’S Whoe Shabang Crawfish Recipe
Viet Dipping Sauce feature image
Dipping Sauce Recipe

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