• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 6 Servings

Chao Tom (Shrimp and Sugar Cane Rolls)

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Appetizers, Vietnamese

 Ingredients List

  • 1 lb Shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 ts Salt
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 2 Shallots
  • 2 ts Sugar
  • 1/4 ts Black pepper
  • 1 tb Toasted rice powder
  • 1 tb Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc
  • -mam)
  • 2 tb Ice water
  • Vegetable oil to oil your
  • -hands
  • Three 6-inch long canned
  • -sugar cane sections
  • 1 Cucumber, peeled and cut
  • -into thin slivers
  • 1 c Fresh mint leaves
  • 1 c Fresh coriander leaves
  • Twelve butter or red leaf
  • -lettuce leaves
  • Twelve 8-inch round dried
  • -rice papers


4 Garlic cloves
2 Fresh Serrano chiles
2 tb Sugar
6 tb Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc
4 tb Fresh lime juice
6 To 8 tablespoons water

The Vietnamese use a small indoor earthen stove fueled with coal set on the
table to simmer, boil and barbecue. I have broiled this dish in an oven,
with excellent results. Sugar cane makes this recipe visually exciting and
exotic. Its sweetness subtly melts into the shrimp paste. Sugar cane comes
fresh and canned in better Asian markets; the former is scarce and very
expensive. Check with the grocery clerk to make certain that you are
buying the 6- to 7-inch long stalks, not the cubes. The recipe serves well
as a buffet appetizer or as a first course for a dinner party.

Shell and devein the shrimp. Toss with salt; let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse
with cold water; drain thoroughly. Blot dry. In a food processor, finely
mince the garlic and shallots. Add sugar, pepper, toasted rice powder,
fish sauce, and shrimp; process into a smooth paste.

With the machine running, pour the ice water through the feed tube; process
until the shrimp is light and fluffy. Cover and refrigerate. Pour
vegetable oil into a small bowl. Place a wire cooling rack on a baking
sheet; brush with oil.

Cut the sugar cane lengthwise into quarters to make 12 long strips. Dip
your fingers into the oil, then take about 2 tablespoons shrimp paste and
evenly mold a 1-inch cylinder around a sugar cane strip, leaving 1 inch
free at both ends.

Arrange the rolls on the rack diagonally, and keep them from touching each

Arrange the cucumber, mint and coriander leaves, and lettuce on a platter;
set aside.

Broil the shrimp rolls about 6 inches from the heat, turning once, until
the edges are bright orange and the filling feels firm to the touch, 2 to 3
minutes per side.

To serve, take a rice paper sheet and set it on a plate. Dip a pastry
brush into a bowl of water. Brush the entire rice paper generously with

Let it sit until the paper is pliable and somewhat flimsy. Put a lettuce
leaf on one end of the paper.

Place a cucumber sliver, mint and coriander leaves on top of the lettuce.

Take a hot stick of sugar cane, break off the shrimp and place it on top of
the vegetables. Begin rolling up the paper to enclose the filling; form it
into the shape of a cylinder. Drip into the nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce,. and
take a bite, then chew on the sugar cane for the sweetness (do not swallow
the sugar cane).

NUOC CHAM DIPPING SAUCE: Grind the garlic, chiles and sugar into a paste in
a mortar, blender or mini-food processor. Stir in fish sauce, lime and
water. Strain into a dipping bowl.

NOTE: If sugar cane is not available, use a skewer or inexpensive bamboo
chopsticks. Soak them in water overnight before wrapping with shrimp

Makes 12 rolls or serves 6.

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