Vietnamese Recipes & Cuisines (Seafood)

Shrimp on Sugar Cane Recipe

(Chao Tom)

Ingredients : Serves 4 -6

Shrimp paste

450 g (1lb)

1 teaspoon

3 cloves


1 teaspoon


1 tablespoon

1 tablespoon

1/4 teaspoon

2 tablespoons

2 15-cm



150 g (5 oz)

1 tablespoon

300 ml


30 g

30 g


12 sheets


Raw shrimps, shelled and deveined


Garlic, peeled

Shallots, peeled

Rock Sugar, ground or 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Egg white, lightly beaten

Fish sauce

Roasted rice powder

Freshly ground black pepper

Plus 60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil

Sugar cane (6-in) pieces



Rice vermicelli (yields 2 1/2 cups cooked noodles)

Crisp-fried shallots

Nuoc cham

Cucumber, thinly sliced

Fresh coriander (coarsely chopped)

Fresh mint leaves, rinsed

Butterhead lettuce, rinsed and separated into leaves

Rice paper, softened in water and cut into quarters

Spring onion oil

Method :
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the shrimps and sprinkle with the salt.

  • Set aside for 20 minutes.

  • Rinse the shrimps under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.

  • Pound the shrimps, garlic, shallots and sugar with a mortar and pestle until the mixture becomes sticky. Stir in the egg white. Alternatively, use a food processor.

  • Add the fish sauce, ground rice, black pepper and 2 tablespoons oil to the paste and stir well to combine.

  • If using fresh sugar cane, peel and split lengthwise into quarters for a total of 8 pieces.

  • Pour the 60 ml (1/4 cup) oil into a small dish.

  • Oil your fingers and pick up about 2 tablespoons shrimp paste.

  • Mould it around the middle of the cane, leaving the ends exposed to serve as handles.

  • Repeat until you have used all the shrimp paste. Set aside.

  • Meanwhile, start the barbecue fire.

  • Steam or boil the noodles, drain well, place in a serving bowl, and dress with the spring onion oil and crisp-fried shallots.

  • Pour the nuoc cham into individual bowls.

  • Arrange the cucumber, coriander mint lettuce leaves, and rice papers on a platter.

  • Grill the sugar cane pieces over medium-hot and coals and turning often until golden but not browned, about 5 minutes.

  • Remove from fire and place on a platter.

  • To serve, give each person a sheet of softened rice paper.

  • Remove the shrimp from the sugar cane and cut each cooked portion into quarters.

  • Put a portion of noodles 1 cm (1/2 in) down from the upper edge of the paper.

  • Place on the noodles a few pieces cucumber, coriander and mint leaves.

  • Fold the top edge over the filling, then fold the right and left sides over the filling, and continue folding tightly to the end.

  • Dip into the nuoc cham before eating,

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