Appetizer

Vietnamese Shrimp on Sugarcane Sticks (Chao Tom)

by:
April 12, 2019
Photo by Amy
Author Notes

Shrimp on Sugar cane sticks is orginally from central Vietnam. The ground shrimp is wrapped around sugarcane sticks, then grill or steam to perfection. This famous appetizer is often serve at weddings and special events.
Shrimp on Sugarcane sticks usually serve with fine vermicelli (banh hoi) and a plateful of herbs: mints, cilantros, cucumber, along side the famour dipping fish sauce.
If you can't locate sugarcane sticks (sold in cans at Asian grocey stores) substitute with lemongrass stalks, or celery stalks. —Amy

  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 8 ssticks
Ingredients
  • For the shrimp sticks:
  • 1 pound shrimp (shell removed & deveined)
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 sugarcane sticks (split into 4 lengthwise)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
  • Green onion oil:
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • a pinches of salt & pepper
  • for the dressing:
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 thai chili (minced)
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Wash shrimp and dry with paper towel to remove excess water.
  2. Place shrimp in a large mixing bowl. Marinate with fish sauce, sugar, black pepper. Toss with cornstarch and set aside for a few minutes.
  3. Place shrimp mixture with garlic clove in the food processor. Pulse a few times, then blend on low until a coarse paste forms. Transfer back to the mixing bowl.
  4. Grease both hands well with some vegetable oil. Take about 2 tablespoon of paste, flatten out the paste and place it in the palm of hand. Place the sugarcane sticks in the middle of the paste. Then close your hand and wrap the shrimp around the stick. Turn the stick around while patting the paste to smooth out the surface. Continue until all finish.
  5. Prepare the green onion oil: place everything in a small bowl and microwave for 20 seconds. Set aside.
  6. Dipping sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together fish sauce, boiling water, sugar until dissolved. Add in lime juice, chili and garlic. Set aside.
  7. Drizzle some green onion oil on top of the shrimp sticks. Serve with the sweet, spicy dipping sauce along with fresh herbs and fine vermicelli (if desired).

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