Shrimp Cakes / Banh tom
Street vendors sell hot, tasty snacks at events and celebrations around Vietnam. Hungry festivalgoers never have to look far for a treat. Shrimp cakes are a favorite that can also be made at home.
Serves 4 to 6
• 1 lb. fresh or frozen shrimp, peeled
• and deveined*
• 1½ c. flour
• 1½ c. water
• 1¼ c. salt
• ⅛ tsp. pepper
• 1 medium-sized potato
• 1½ c. vegetable oil
Wash and dry shrimp and place half of them in a food processor or blender. Process until pastelike. Cut the rest of the shrimp in half the long way and set aside.
Place flour in a large bowl and gradually stir in water until batter is smooth. Add salt, pepper, and shrimp paste, and stir well.
Peel potato and cut into very thin shoestrings. Add to batter and stir.
Heat oil over high heat in a wok or a deep saucepan. Place about 2 tbsp. of batter in a ladle or deep serving spoon. Place half a shrimp in the middle of the ladle and carefully drop the batter and shrimp into the hot oil.
Fry for about 1 minute and turn over. Fry until batter is golden and shrimp is pink, about 3 minutes.
Remove from oil, drain on paper towel, and set aside. Repeat with remaining batter and shrimp and serve with nuoc cham or chili sauce.
Food: Shrimp Cakes