Trey Kho Marit (Peppered Caramelised Smelt)

Ingredients :

1 lb Fresh smelt
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Cup water
4 Cloves garlic, minced
¼ Cup fish sauce
1 Tablespoon sugar
¼ Teaspoon salt
½ Teaspoon black pepper

Method :

Clean fish, heads off, take a little sharp knife cut along the both sides of fish back bones. Gently pulls the central bones out and down toward the fish tail, and cut then cut the bones and tail off, set a side.
Prepare the caramel sauce by adding 1 tablespoon of water and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a pot or skillet large  enough to hold all the ingredients. Cook and stir frequently until sugar turns dark brown. Immediately pour 1-cup water over caramelized sauce and stir well.
Add garlic, fish sauce, sugar and salt, Mix.
Add fish and simmer until sauce thickens and the mixture reduces.
Sprinkle with black pepper.