Chao Tom (Sugar Cane Shrimp)

6 servings


15 minutes

active time

1 hour 15 minutes

total time


700 g / 1.5 lb peeled frozen prawns

200 g / 0.44 lb pork paste (giò sống)

1 tsp pepper

1/2 tbsp chicken bouillon powder

1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

2 tsp sugar (or to taste)

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 1/2 tsp potato starch

1/2 tsp baking soda

sugar cane

2 egg yolks (for the glaze)

cooking oil (for frying)

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 bulbs red shallots, finely chopped

1 sprig spring onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp lemongrass, minced

1 chili, finely chopped (optional)

1 tbsp cooking oil


Wash the frozen prawns in cool water. When thawed, drain them in a colander.

Place the prawns on a cloth to dry and pat the moisture away using paper towels. You want each one to be free from any liquid.

Put the shrimp in a ziplock bag along with the pepper, chicken bouillon powder, fish sauce, salt and sugar.

Use a meat mallet (or any tool you have on hand) to pound the shrimp for 3 minutes, then set aside.

Heat up a pan with the oil and brown the lemongrass, chili, spring onion, purple shallots and garlic.

In a food processor, add the fried aromatics, shrimp and pork paste along with the baking soda and potato starch then blitz the contents until it forms a smooth paste.

Line a flat dish with banana leaf and wrap roughly 1/2 US cup paste around the sugar cane.Tip: Wearing gloves and coating it in a light layer of oil will stop the mixture from sticking. To make the surface smooth, roll the sugar cane in the palm of your hand.

Set up a steamer on high heat and steam for 5 minutes or until cooked.

Turn off the heat then lightly brush egg yolks on the steamed chao tom and let it rest in the steamer for 1 minute. This step will allow the yolk to form a glaze over the meat without overcooking.

Set up a deep frying station and cook the chao tom for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve immediately with bánh hỏi (Vietnamese woven rice noodles) and fresh herbs!


Serving Size



234 kcal

Total Fat

9 g

Saturated Fat

1 g

Unsaturated Fat


Trans Fat



359 mg


1765 mg

Total Carbohydrate

6 g

Dietary Fiber

1 g

Total Sugars

2 g


30 g

6 servings


15 minutes

active time

1 hour 15 minutes

total time
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