Vietnamese Recipes & Cuisines (Appetizers)

Deep-Fried Sweet Potato and Shrimp Patties Recipe

(Banh Tom)

This dish, banh tom, is a Hanoi specialty. The street sellers in the city and cafes along the banks of West Lake are well known for their varied and delicious banh tom. You can make the patties any size, small for a snack or first course, or large for a main course; simply adjust the amount you spoon on the spatula before frying. Traditionally, the patties are served with herb and lettuce leaves for wrapping and a sauce for dipping.

Banh tom made with sweet potato are particularly popular in Hanoi, but they are also very good made with strips of winter melon or courgette (zucchini), bean sprouts or bamboo shoots, or finely sliced cabbage leaves. Simply substitute the sweet potato with the vegetable of your choice, add a little chili, shape into patties and cook as before.

Ingredients : Serves 4

50 g

50 g


2.5 cm


175 g


225 g

5 tablespoons

1/2 teaspoon

1/2 teaspoon

1 sprig

Plain (all purpose) flour

Rice flour

Baking powder


Fresh root ginger, peeled and grated

Spring onions (scallions), finely sliced

Small fresh shrimps, peeled and deveined

Sweet potato, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks

Vegetable oil, for deep frying (add more if required)


Ground black pepper

Fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped, for garnishing

Method :
  • Sift the flours and baking powder into a bowl.

  • Add the sugar, salt and pepper. Gradually stir in 250 ml water, until thoroughly combined.

  • Add the grated ginger and sliced spring onions and leave to stand for 30 minutes.

  • Add the shrimps and sweet potato to the batter and gently fold them in, making sure they are well coated. Heat enough oil for deep frying in a wok or heavy pan. Place a heaped tablespoon of the mixture on to a metal spatula and pat it down a little.

  • Lower it into the oil, pushing it off the spatula so that it floats in the oil. Fry the patty for 2-3 minutes, turning it over so that it is evenly browned. Drain on kitchen paper.

  • Continue with the rest of the batter, frying the patties in small batches.

  • Arrange the patties on a dish, garnish with coriander, and serve immediately with nuoc cham or another dipping sauce of your choice.

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