Vietnamese Cha Tom Recipe
March 10th, 2007 35 Comments

Vietnamese Cha Tom Recipe

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Vietnamese Tom Cha/Hue 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

Vietnamese Tom Cha/Hue Shrimp Patties

  • 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.

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    35 comments... read them below or add one

    1. tigerfish says:

      Welcome back to an early Spring! So fast in action liow arh ? Kitchen misses you, we miss you too ;p
      Never had these Vnese shrimp patties before. Looks like otak scallop lollipop – otakscallopop! kekekeke..
      Is this the 1st course of your 14-course? Now I have tune in, send in text and maintain your ratings… you also better rest well hor…come back from China then turn sick again…aiyo…must be “dirty” air in Beijing lah…or you gone thru too much temperature cycling from Malaysia, then Beijing, then back to CA ? Take care :)

    2. wmw says:

      Hey! You are back…Had just reply your comment in my blog asking you where you were…

      Wow…actually, looks like it was mutual. Your kitchen needed you and you needed your kitchen! Ha ha ha…

      The Tom Cha looks good!

    3. Lyrical Lemongrass says:

      Looks like a lot of hard work. Gorgeous pics, as always. :-)

    4. Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy says:

      Looks good. :-) Thanks for linking me on your blogroll

      Hope to meet up with you next time you return.


    5. Arisa Go says:

      it looked so cute to be eaten.

      i wonder if my vietnamese flatmate knows how to cook this dish.

      will give this recipe a try! =)

      keep it up. your love for cooking is beyond extraordinary.

    6. team BSG says:

      KL has been rather quiet the last 2 weeks, altho the anti-corruption circus did a small side show. V think v know why ! Certain star fooders have gone globetrottingly missing…

    7. boo_licious says:

      tom cha looks good and glad to hear you’re back in the kitchen.

    8. Rasa Malaysia says:

      Tiga – thanks for your sweet note…aiyo, must be the air lah, so cold so polluted and kena sick again…sigh sigh. But sick or not sick, one must eat and have my fix. Gee, did you see the “I lost 40 lbs in 2 months” is back. I thought I already disabled it in Adsense?!

      WMW – yeah, I am back to the comfort of my house and bed here.

      Lemongrass – hardwork indeed, but when you taste the end result, all hard work is justified.

      Allen and Nigel – you’re welcome and yes, I would love to meet with you guys and taste your cakes. ;)

      Arisa – yeah, just try the recipe. You will love this…not easy to find outside as I have improvished the recipe.

      Team BSG – Is it just KL? I think Penang has been quiet too since my departure…LOL!!!

      Boo – I am glad I am back in my kitchen. :)

    9. Precious Pea says:

      Yumyumyum…looks so tasty. Got to really compliment your culinary skills. Salute salute!

    10. Deb says:

      Do you think it was Panda gave it to us all??? ;) The shrimp patties look incredible. Kepp cooking and writing….I’ll be reading!!

    11. GMG says:

      Wow, this looks great!
      Well, surfing all these blogs, I’ll need to go on a diet… Any reco?

    12. lucia says:

      anything with shrimp i will love it to death. :) this vietnames tom cha look so delicious.

    13. Wandering Chopsticks says:

      Welcome back Rasa Malaysia! Cooking up a storm already I see.

      I wrap my shrimp paste around sugarcane and grill it. The sugarcane juices then flavor the shrimp, and then you munch on the sugarcane afterward.

      BTW, in the title, the order is reversed. In VNese, it should be cha (paste) tom (shrimp). The noun preceeds the adjective.

    14. BuddingCook says:

      welcome back! :D looks very good ;) as always. very cute.

    15. Paz says:

      Awesome menu! Welcome back!


    16. pablopabla says:

      What sort of plastic wrap do you use? Is it safe for boiling in water for up to 5 minutes???

    17. Hakka House says:

      Your food always turn out so pretty!

    18. Lydia Teh says:

      Hi there, I came over from my blog. Your pictures are so beautiful, artistic and looks good enough to be eaten off the screen. Cool site.

    19. tigerfish says:

      Buahahaha….RM, 去到哪里,跟到哪里..that’s the power of your cooking loh! Even Adsense could not succumb to your food and needs to look for you! :O

    20. Rasa Malaysia says:

      Precious – thanks for your kind compliment. :)

      Deb – I think so…it’s got to be online virus that’s spreading around blogosphere. Hehe. Cool, I will keep cooking and posting.

      GMG – no need to if you are just browsing…some food blogs are so good you can just feed on their pictures, yes? :P

      Lucia – yes, the egg white makes them extra fluffy, airy and light. Very good…any good Vietnamese restaurants in Penang?

      WC – thanks for correcting me…changed. ;)

      Budding Cook – hehe…thanks. :)

      Paz – you will have to try cooking this. Lots of work unfortunately, but well worth the effort.

      Pablo – I think it should be OK. Iron Chef America did the same thing…they wrapped some shrimp paste thingy and boiled…it was shown on TV!

      Hakka House – I tried to…LOL! ;)

      Lydia Teh – Honk honk I am a Malaysian!! Lydia Teh is in the house. Thanks for visiting my humble blog and thanks for your compliment. :)

      Tiger – It’s a pest…I couldn’t get rid of it. :P

    21. Claude-Olivier says:

      Welcome back, for our pleasure !!! Your kitchen is know happy and we are too ! It looks great…as always !!!


    22. Nate 2.0 says:

      Welcome back to this side of the pond.

      I am going to have to try this recipe!

    23. simcooks says:

      My husband loves shrimp. I think this will go well with our favorite Lingham chilli sauce :)

    24. Kenny Mah says:

      Heya Rasa Malaysia,

      Thanks for dropping by my blog. Yours is much more delicious, I must say! :) I’m one of those people who don’t get much chance to cook but eating a quick meal while reading a food blog is the next best thing! Yums…

      Adding you to my Bookmarks page right away! :)

      Cheers from M’sia,

    25. pablopabla says:

      Well, since you are still blogging around and no signs of health problem, it must be safe then ;) LOL!

    26. Jackson says:

      welcome back!! Nice presentation on the Cha TOm but i just wondering will it taste a bit like otak-otak? hehe

    27. Keropok Man says:

      wow i wanna eat it now!

      its 2 am, and i am working on some need to be finish work, letting my program generates the results, so visit here and arrghh hungry pulak.

      yeah, reminds me of something i have not done for a long time. truffle butter with ricotta pancakes. I soften butter, then add black truffle salsa and roll it up like what u do, then freeze it. so i can serve nice round cuts of truffle butter. yummm….

    28. Chubbypanda says:

      How cute! =)

    29. Rasa Malaysia says:

      Claude – thanks and will be busy cooking again!

      Nate 2.0 – yes, please do.

      Simcooks – how many of those Lingham chili sauce have you smuggled back? Can give me one? :P

      Kenny Mah – thanks for visiting my humble blog and a big welcome. I admire your writing skills very much. And thanks for linking me. :)

      Pablo – I think it’s OK. If you eat outside, who knows what they use?! ;)

      Jackson – no it doesn’t taste like otak-otak…it taste like prawn balls, but in my opinion better because of the egg whites…very light and fluffy feeling. :)

      Keropok Man – wah, truffle butter ricotta pancakes…can take a picture to feast my hungry eyes?

      Panda – yes, cute is the word. :)

    30. babe_kl says:

      my kitchen has been collecting dust since end of CNY! LOL… this recipe sounded simple even though hv a few extra steps. hopefully i get to try this.

    31. Miss Diane says:

      As usual, Claude-Olivier sent me to your wonderful blog. I would love to cook these shrimps but I wonder what is “rice powder”? Could that be substituted by “rice flour”? Thank you, you can send your answer by mail.

    32. Anonymous says:

      What a yummy looking cha tom. Iv never had this before so im going to follow your cha tom recipe step-by-step.

    33. zafer cetinoz says:

      Thanks for linking me on your blogroll
      Hope to meet up with you next time you return

    34. angustia says:

      Hi there,

      This might be the recipe I’ve been looking for. I used to have chinese noodles from a restaurant decades ago and one of the toppings is like a fish or shrimp cake (with very smooth texture)…and it’s really really good. I found something similar to it commercially prepared and they do call it fish cake or shrimp cake. have you heard of that?

    35. Erna says:

      Hi, I enjoyed experimenting with the recipes on your blog a lot. I have a question regarding this recipe. With regards to the rice powder, is it the same as rice flour? If they are the same, do you mean the glutinous or non-glutinous type? Kindly reply. Thanks in advance!

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