I love these shrimp cakes. Banh Tom is a popular dish in Vietnam. It is made of thick cut sweet potato and shrimp, coated with light batter and deep-fried until golden brown. It is often served as an appetizer and commonly eaten wrapped with lettuce, pickle, herbs and dipped into nuoc mam sauce. It is very similar to our cucur udang except it has sweet potatoes in it. Since I have a small piece of taro in my fridge, I added it to the batter beside a few extra ingredients. The sweet potato is usually cut thick but I julienne it for faster cooking. The lettuce and vegetable pickle compliment so well with the crispy fritters, while the nouc mam sauce ties all the flavors together.
4 tbsp rice flour
5 tbsp flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
½ cup + 2 tbsp water
Salt and pepper to taste
250 gram sweet potatoes – julienned
200 gram taro/yam – julienned
1 small onion – finely sliced
½ cup chopped cilantro
2 red chili – finely diced
10 - 12 large shrimps – peeled and deveined
Vietnamese Dipping Sauce/ nouc mam:
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp sugar
1 red chili/2 bird eye chilies – cut small
1 tbsp fish sauce
Combined all the ingredients for the dipping sauce and set it aside.
Some vegetable pickle - you can get the recipe here
1. Combine the flour, rice flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add in the water and mix well. Set it aside to rest for 15 minutes. Then fold in the sweet potatoes, taro, onion, chilies, cilantro and shrimp. Mix until just combine. Do not over mix.
2. Heat the oil over medium to high heat (about 330˚F) and place 2 heaping Tbsp of the mixture in the middle of a flat metal spatula with a shrimp on the top. Push the batter down to form a loose, irregular cake about ¼ inches thick. Then gently put the cake into the hot oil.
3. Fry the fritters for about 2 to 3 minutes and turning over once, until they are evenly brown and cooked. Remove the fritters with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
4. Repeat with the remaining mixture, cooking only 3 to 4 cakes at a time.
5. To serve, place a piece of the shrimp cake and on a lettuce leaf, a bit of pickle and fold into packet, dip into the sauce and enjoy!
Note: You can always leave the head and shell of the shrimps intact for these fritters.