I love these sweet potato & shrimp fritters with nuoc cham.
This classic Vietnamese street food is packed with flavor, texture and stunning color. It seems like the kind of thing you only order in a restaurant, but I promise it’s easier to make at home than you think. And it’s gluten- and dairy-free. I’ll show you how to make them in my latest knife skills video, presented by Shun Knives.
Want 20% off your Shun knife purchase? Use code AZSHUNX20S7 Please note: Customer must create an account and be signed in to use code.
Knives used in this video:
In Japan, a nakiri is a vegetable knife. It’s designed to handle a full range of vegetables, and a lot more, with ease. Use it with a simple push cut instead of a rocking cut. The straighter edge means more of the blade contacts the board with each cut for extremely efficient slicing and dicing.
If your budget only allows for one nice knife, make it a chef’s knife. I think 8” is sort of the sweet spot for most home cooks (though you can get shorter or longer ones). You can choke up on the handle to do more precise paring work, and it’s great for chopping, dicing, julienning… most things, really. You can read more about the four knives I think are essential for any home cook here, but if you’re looking to invest in your first piece of cutlery, this is the one.
You can find a variety of Shun chef’s knives here.
In this video, you’ll learn:
- How to julienne and chiffonade.
- How to chop batons.
- How to keep sweet potatoes from discoloring.
- How to make fritters extra crispy.
- How to peel, devein, and halve shrimp
- Which part of the shrimp head you want to eat
Like this post? Save it on Pinterest!
Vietnamese Sweet Potato and Shrimp Fritters with Nuoc Cham Recipe
By Andrew Zimmern
- 2 quarts vegetable oil, for fryin
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, washed and cut into matchsticks
- 1 1/2 cups rice flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 1 cup ice water
- 1/2 pound fresh shrimp, head and shell intact
- 1 bunch scallions, cut in 2-inch lengths
- 1/4 cup small dried shrimp
- 1 small hot chile, minced
- Butter lettuce leaves, for serving
- Shiso, Thai basil and mint leaves, for serving
- Nuoc cham (dipping sauce), for serving
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup fish sauce, or more to taste
- Juice of 2 limes, or to taste
- 1 fresh red chile, minced (use a hot one!)
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted and ground
- 3 tablespoons scallions, minced
For the Fritters:
Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat until it is steady at 350 degrees.
Cut the sweet potatoes into thick matchsticks, about 2-3 inches long and 1/8 inch thick. Place the cut potatoes into a large bowl filled with iced water and refrigerate for an hour or more…drain well and pat dry before using.
Combine the flour, cornstarch, turmeric and white pepper. Season with salt. Slowly add ice water, whisking, to form a smooth batter.
Cut the head off of the shrimp, place in a large mixing bowl. Peel and devein the body of the shrimp, and chop into ½-inch pieces. Place in the mixing bowl. Add cut sweet potatoes, scallions, dried shrimp and hot chile. Pour in the batter and toss well.
Spoon the portion into the oil and cook until golden and crispy, about 4 minutes or so. I always have 2 or 3 going at once.
Drain on a plate lined with a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining portions until you’re finished frying.
When ready to serve, place the herbs and fritters on a large serving platter. Wrap the fritter and a few herbs in the lettuce and dip it into nuoc cham.
For the Nuac Cham
Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small pan, cool. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, chiles, ground sesame seeds and scallions. Reserve.