Vietnamese Cha Tom Recipe
Vietnamese Cha Tom (Shrimp Patties) – shrimp, garlic, sugar, egg whites, rice powder, pepper
I am finally back after spending 3 weeks in Asia. As I walked into my house, I couldn’t help but noticing my lonely kitchen. She was a little dusty and sad. All my pots, pans, utensils, and kitchen appliances were buried deep inside my cabinets. My kitchen needs a little action and activities; she needs me.
I resolved to give my kitchen a proper “re-opening” ceremony with my cooking and she welcomed me with open arms. I wanted to make something special–something that needs extra time, patience, and dedication. I thought about a very good Vietnamese appetizer that I had right before I left and the end results are these beautiful and toothsome Vietnamese Cha Tom or Hue (a city in Vietnam) shrimp patties…
Recipe: Vietnamese Cha Tom/Hue Shrimp Patties
1 pound raw shrimp in shell (smaller shrimp preferred)
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon rock sugar (pounded to a powder) or 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 egg whites, beaten until frothy
1 tablespoon of rice powder
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lard or cooking oil
- Shell and devein the shrimp and rinse.
- Dry the shrimp thoroughly with paper towels, blotting many times until dry.
- Put the garlic, shrimp, rock sugar powder, rice powder, ground black pepper, lard into a food processor and blend well. Transfer the shrimp paste into a bowl.
- Beat the egg white with an electronic hand beater until frothy.
- Combine the shrimp paste with beaten egg white and blend well with hand.
- Divide the shrimp paste into 3 equal portions.
- On a flat surface, roll out 24 inches of clear plastic wrap and fold it into half.
- Put one portion of the shrimp paste at one end of the plastic wrap and roll them into a sausage as pictured above. Tie both ends with string.
- Bring a pot of water to boil and then boil the three shrimp sausage rolls for 5 minutes. Dish up and let cool.
- Remove the plastic wrap and cut the shrimp sausage into small pieces as pictured above.
- Pan-seared both sides of the shrimp patties until they turn light brown.
- Serve with toothpick and garnish with chopped scallion.
- I learned step 8 above from Iron Chef America!
- This recipe makes a killer appetizer or hors d’oeuvres.