New Recipes

Caramel Shrimp (Vietnamese Tom Rim)

Vietnamese Caramel Shrimp (Tom Rim)
Vietnamese Caramel Shrimp (Tom Rim) pictures (2 of 3)

When it comes to one ingredient that I consume more than anything else in the world, it has to be shrimp. I love shrimp and I can eat it every day and for every meal. I am addicted to it.

When I had caramel shrimp at Cat Restaurant in Little Saigon a few weeks ago, I fell head over heals in love with it. It was one of the most delicious shrimp dishes ever and the taste was rich and intense—sweet, salty, savory, and extremely umami. I came home and did some research on my cookbooks and the internet for the recipe but I was undecided. And then David of Houston Wok came to my rescue and shared his Vietnamese caramel shrimp or tom rim recipe with me.

I made it for my good friend Show Shanti (check out her beautiful blog and awesome photography about learning authentic Chinese cooking from real Chinese families in China, a MUST-READ) and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

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25 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Hello, hello! =)

    Your tom rim looks yummy! How I make this dish is slightly different than yours. I usually make the caramel and keep it in the fridge for whenever I need to use it, it’s there. I add a little salt, some sugar, some garlic, some mushroom powder instead of msg, and red chili pepper for some spiciness. All these ingredients can be used on chicken as well, for ga ru ti.

    Have a great evening!

  2. Shanti

    So happy I could be a part of this scrumptious Shrimp adventure. My favorite part were the heads filled with fatty goodness that went so well like butter, with the sweet and black-peppery sauce. So easy! A must try at home!

  3. Mama Geri

    This is my first day to enjoy your blog and finding madeleines and shrimp recipes made my day perfect. The photography is terrific and makes my mouth water for everything I see. I can’t wait to try these recipes. I have one request do you have a special “garlic Shrimp” recipe in a brown sauce. In most Asian restaurants I go to feature this dish and it’s my #1 choice from the menu. I would like to try making it at home.

  4. Sher

    what do you mean by soup spoon? Are you refering to the chinese soup spoon because I tried to make this dish and the sugar stayed separated from the oil. The sugar caramelized on it’s own and as soon as there was not heat, it hardened. What’s the sauce supposed to look like?

    • Cici

      exact same thing happened to my sugar oil sauce… forget about putting it in d fridge for future caramel sauce.. d sugar hardened like a rock with oil on top of it.. right?

  5. Joe

    Made the 2nd recipe. Was never any good at making candy, so I was afraid of the caramel sauce preparation, but it was easy. As described, adding the water hardened up the sugar and crackled and popped, but eventually it dissolved into the water. I also wasn’t sure if it needed to stay warm as I prepared the rest of the recipe. It doesn’t.

    Just wondering – only 1 tsp of the caramel sauce goes in the recipe, after making the sauce with 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp water? I only did the 1 tsp, and now feel like it could have used more.

    Also, if I were going to do it again, I think I’d drop the shrimp in there maybe 3 minutes before the end, and if not serving all of it immediately, get the remainder out of the wok quickly! I had a bunch of large fresh shrimp that ended up pretty rubbery. Oh well…

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