Chao tom prawn pops

Chao tom prawn pops

Sucettes de crevette chao tom

By
From
Luke Nguyen's France
Makes
10
Photographer
Alan Benson

Dining in a few fancy restaurants in France, I was often served cute little salmon pops as an appetiser, which inspired me to turn a traditional Vietnamese dish called chao tom into a pop appetiser too. Make sure to tell your guests to chew on the sugarcane sticks to get all the sweet juice out of them.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
10 thin sugarcane skewers, halved lengthways if they are really fat, (sold in tins at Asian food markets)
vegetable oil, for brushing
125ml Nuoc mam cham dipping sauce

Prawn paste

Quantity Ingredient
1 garlic clove
5 spring onions, chopped, white part only
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
500g raw prawn meat
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 egg white
1/2 tablespoon cornflour

Method

  1. To make the prawn paste, use a mortar and pestle to pound the garlic and spring onion together with the salt, pepper and sugar. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the remaining prawn paste ingredients and mix until well combined.
  2. Add a small quantity of the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
  3. Weigh the prawn paste into 50 g amounts (you should have 10 in total). One at a time, pick up each portion of the paste and throw it down hard onto your work surface several times — this ‘aerates’ the paste and gives it a smooth, glossy appearance. Repeat this process with all the prawn paste balls.
  4. Roll each portion into a sausage shape and skewer it onto a piece of sugarcane. Brush with vegetable oil.
  5. Lay the skewers on a steaming tray, then place over a wok or saucepan of rapidly boiling water and steam over high heat for 10 minutes.
  6. Heat a chargrill pan to medium–high. When the prawn skewers have finished steaming, brush them with some more vegetable oil and chargrill over medium–high heat for 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with the nuoc mam cham for dipping.
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