/ Thursday, January 1, 2009 / 2 Comments / , ,

Grilled Shrimp On Sugarcane

I love the light, and fluffy texture of this well-known Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp On Sugarcane. This excellent appetizer is a favorite of mine. I enjoyed this shrimp dish with green lettuce leaves, Asian basil, mint leaves, cooked vermicelli, carrot, cucumber, and Vietnamese dipping sauce. Btw, you can even chew the sugarcane itself; it’s sweet and juicy.

Recipe adapted from Pleasures Of The Vietnamese Table by Mai Pham.

Grilled Shrimp On Sugarcane


1 Egg White
2 tsp Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup Chopped Yellow Onion
3 Shallots, minced
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp minced Garlic
1/2 tsp Ground White Pepper
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 lb raw Medium Shrimp, peeled, deveined and patted extremely dry
2 Scallions, chopped
1 (20 z) can 4 inch long sugarcane, drained or Fresh Sugarcane


1/2 lb small Dried bun (rice vermicelli), cooked
Table Salad or Marinated Daikon and Carrots
Vietnamese Dipping Sauce


Heat the oil in a small saucepan over moderate heat. Add the onion and shallots and saute until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer the onion mixture (not the juice) to a bowl and add the fish sauce, salt, sugar, garlic, white pepper, cornstarch, baking powder and egg white. Add the shrimp and toss well.

Transfer the shrimp mixture to a food processor and process until almost smooth but still lumpy. Transfer the paste to a bowl and stir in the scallions. (If the paste is not cold, refrigerate at this point to stiffen it.)

Quarter the sugarcane pieces lengthwise, or halve them if they are small. Wet your hands with cold water. Place 2 tablespoons of the shrimp paste in the middle of your palm. Place a piece of sugarcane on top and mold the paste around it. Gently press the paste against the stick so that the edges are sealed. Set the shrimp stick aside on an oiled plate. Repeat with the remaining sugarcane and paste.

Oil a steamer basket and place the sugarcane sticks in a single layer. Steam until the shrimp paste turns pink, 2 to 3 minutes. You can make this dish in advance up to this point. To finish, grill slightly charred around the edges. Serve immediately.
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