Shrimp on Sugar Cane (Chao Tom)

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Title: Shrimp on Sugar Cane (Chao Tom)
Yield: 8 Servings
Categories: Vietnamese, Seafood


1 lb Raw shrimp in shell
4 Cloves garlic
1 ts Rock sugar, pounded to a
-powder, or 1 teaspoon
-granulated sugar
2 Egg whites, beaten until
-slightly frothy
1 tb Roasted Rice Powder
Sprinkling of freshly
-ground black pepper
2 tb Pork fat, boiled for 10
-minutes and diced very
1 Twelve-inch section sugar
1/4 c Vegetable oil, approximately
Basic Vegetable Platter
-[see below]
12 Dried rice papers (banh

---------------------------NUOC LEO WITH TAMARIND---------------------------
1 tb Tamarind paste
1/2 c Plus 3 tablespoons water
1 tb Vegetable oil
2 Cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 c Tuong
1 ts Granulated sugar
2 tb Peanut butter
2 tb Roasted Peanuts

The "tuong" referred to below is a Vietnamese soybean preparation++a
kind of thin, salty paste. If you can't find it, you *might* get
away with substituting Chinese bean sauce, mashed and thinned a bit
with water, or possibly a dark Japanese miso. Although you can make
this in a food processor or blender, it's best to pound it in a
mortar with a pestle to achieve that certain crunchiness which is a
most desirable quality of much Vietnamese food. Bach started using a
mortar and pestle when she was thirteen years old, working with a
pestle that was about a yard long and 5 inches in diameter. Although
her family hand many servants, her mother, a great cook, wanted Bach
to learn to use this tool properly. And Bach, who loved to cook as
much then as she does now, was a willing and eager student. In
Vietnam, where this is a very important dish, both the sugar cane and
shrimp, fresh from the sea, are brought to the door by the country
people. If you cannot obtain sugar cane, you can prepare this dish
with crab claws instead. In the West, we have been making this in the
oven. Originally it was barbecued over charcoal, and if you with you
can do the same. Just cook it for 10 minutes on each side and this
attractive dish will be reproduced exactly as it is in Vietnam. Shell
and devein the shrimp, them rinse. Dry thoroughly in paper towels,
blotting many times. Mash the garlic in a mortar, then add the
shrimp, a few at a time and mash to a paste. If the mortar is not
large enough, it will be necessary to remove the already prepared
shrimp paste to make room for the additional shrimp to be pounded.
After all the shrimp is reduced to a smooth paste, pound the sugar
into the shrimp, then add the egg white and pound with the pestle
until well blended. Finally add the roasted rice powder, black
pepper, and pork fat, combining all the ingredients. Peel the sugar
cane. Cut into 4-inch lengths and then split lengthwise into
quarters. Pour about 1/4 cup of oil into a bowl. Dip your fingers
into the oil and pick up about 2 tablespoons of shrimp paste. Mold
it into an oval, around and halfway down the sugar cane, leaving half
of the sugar cane exposed to serve as a handle. Proceed until you
have used up all the shrimp paste. Preheat the oven to 350F. Put the
shrimp on sugar cane on a baking sheet, then bake for 30 minutes or
until brown. Serve with the vegetable platter, dried rice papers,
and nuoc leo with tamarind, as follows: Each person is given a dried
rice paper, and, dipping his finger in water, he moistens the entire
surface of the paper, which soon becomes soft and flexible. He then
helps himself, from the vegetable platter, to some lettuce, cucumber,
coriander, and mint, if available. Then he takes a sugar cane stick,
removes the shrimp patty, breaks it in half lengthwise, and places it
on top of the vegetables, all in a cylinder, at one end of the rice
paper. Then he folds over each side to enclose the filling and rolls
it up. Holding it in his hand, he then dips it in his own small bowl
of sauce. While you eat the shrimp in rice paper, you can also chew
on the sugar cane. Makes 6 servings. NUOC LEO WITH TAMARIND: Soak
the tamarind paste in the 3 tablespoons water. Heat the oil and add
the chopped garlic; cook briefly. Add the water from the tamarind to
the saucepan, discarding the remaining tamarind paste and seeds. Stir
and add the tuong, 1/2 cup water, sugar, peanut butter. Mix well and
boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Sprinkle the nuts on top of
the sauce and pour into individual bowls for serving. ROASTED RICE
(THINH): Roasted rice is used quite frequently in Vietnamese cooking.
We generally prepare a quantity of it and keep it in a jar to have on
hand when needed. 1 cup rice Heat a small, dry frying pan over high
heat and add the rice. Toast, stirring constantly, until rice is
brown. Transfer to a blender and grind into a powder. Store as
suggested above. From "The Classic Cuisine of Vietnam", Bach Ngo and
Gloria Zimmerman, Barron's, 1979. Posted by Stephen Ceideberg; May 24