Created by Sue Lau on May 8, 2013
Step 1: Preheat oven to 450°F.
Step 2: Place clay pot or covered roasting pan into oven to preheat.
Step 3: Place 3 ounces fish sauce and 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan, and use whisk to blend until sugar dissolves. Heat over medium-low heat, whisking until mixture comes to a boil, then stop stirring, and swirl mixture in pan for 12 minutes or so, until it becomes golden, foamy, and slightly thick.
Step 4: Remove from heat, and when mixture has cooled and foam settled somewhat, stir in lime juice until sauce is blended.
Step 5: In the bottom of the clay pot or roaster, place oil, shallots, garlic, and chopped lemongrass.
Step 6: Cover clay pot or roaster and cook at 450°F for 10 minutes.
Step 7: Remove pot from oven and add catfish fillets in a single layer. Cover pot and cook at 450°F for 5 minutes.
Step 8: Remove pot from oven and add mushrooms and caramel sauce. Cover pot and cook at 450°F for 5 minutes.
Step 9: Mix together remaining fish sauce, broth, water, and sugar until blended.
Step 10: Remove pot from oven and add broth mixture and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Return pot to oven and cook, UNCOVERED, for 10 minutes at 450°F.
Step 11: Remove pot from oven and cover fish and mushrooms with spinach, basil, and chopped scallion. Cover pot and cook at 450°F for 5 minutes.
Step 12: Remove from oven and serve fish and vegetables with hot steamed jasmine rice.