Delicious Vietnamese Chao Tom – A mouth-watering delicacy

Welcome to my kitchen, fellow foodies! Today, I will be sharing with you a delightful Vietnamese appetizer recipe that is sure to impress your guests: Shrimp Mousse on Sugar Cane, or better known as Chao Tom in Vietnamese.

This dish is traditionally served as a starter at Vietnamese weddings and celebrations, but it’s also perfect for any dinner party or gathering. The combination of succulent ground shrimp, aromatic herbs like cilantro and red chile pepper, and the natural sweetness of the sugar cane creates a flavor explosion in your mouth that’s hard to resist.

But don’t let the exotic ingredients intimidate you! Making this dish may seem daunting at first, but with some simple steps and proper techniques, you’ll be able to recreate this Vietnamese classic right in your own kitchen. Trust me; it will be worth the effort.

So put on your apron and let’s get started. Your taste buds are in for a treat!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Shrimp Mousse on Sugar Cane (vietnamese Chao Tom)
Shrimp Mousse on Sugar Cane (vietnamese Chao Tom)

Are you tired of serving the same appetizers at your dinner parties? Do you want to impress your guests with a dish that is both unique and delicious? Look no further than Vietnamese Chao Tom, a shrimp mousse delicately wrapped around sugar canes.

This appetizer is the perfect blend of sweet and savory, with juicy and succulent shrimp complemented by the subtle sweetness of sugar cane. The texture of the mousse provides a delightful contrast as it melts in your mouth.

But what sets this dish apart is its versatility. Serve it as an elegant appetizer for a formal gathering or as a fun finger food at a casual event. The sugarcane skewers make it easy to handle, while the shrimp mousse adds sophistication to any menu.

What’s more, this recipe requires minimal preparation time and is easy to execute even for novice cooks. All you need is a food processor and some basic ingredients such as shrimp paste, cilantro, red chili pepper, fish sauce, and sugar cane.

So why choose mundane appetizers when you can impress your guests with something special? Chao Tom is the perfect Vietnamese delicacy that will add flair to any dinner party or event.

Ingredient List

 Shrimp mousse on sugar cane - a delightful Vietnamese dish that tantalizes your taste buds!
Shrimp mousse on sugar cane – a delightful Vietnamese dish that tantalizes your taste buds!

Here is everything you will need to make Vietnamese Shrimp Mousse on Sugar Cane at home!

  • 1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 pinch of red chile pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 12 sugar cane skewers or sugarcane sticks

You will also need a food processor to blend the shrimp into a smooth paste. For the best flavor, use fresh shrimp and avoid using pre-made shrimp paste.

The Recipe How-To

 Fresh shrimp blended with aromatic herbs and spices, molded around sugar cane and grilled to perfection.
Fresh shrimp blended with aromatic herbs and spices, molded around sugar cane and grilled to perfection.

Now, it’s time to dive into the actual recipe. Get ready to create shrimp mousse on sugar cane, an appetizer that is both sweet and savory with a distinctive Vietnamese twist.

Step One:

First things first, you need to marinate your shrimp. Take 1 pound of raw shrimp, peel off the shell and devein them. Then, chop the shrimp up into small pieces and use a food processor to make it into a paste. Next, mix in 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 tablespoon of sugar. Let the mixture marinate for at least 20 minutes.

Step Two:

While you’re waiting for the shrimp to marinate, it’s time to prepare the sugar cane sticks. Take 10 sugar cane skewers and cut them into 4-inch long pieces. Make sure they are sturdy enough to hold the weight of the shrimp mousse.

Step Three:

After the marinating process is finished, add in 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, and continue processing until everything is well combined. Add some finely minced cilantro and thinly sliced red chile if you want an extra kick of flavor.

Step Four:

Now it’s time to get your hands dirty. Take a spoonful of the shrimp mixture and wrap it around each sugar cane stick until all sticks are covered evenly. Make sure there is enough mixture so that they have that signature “mousse” consistency.

Step Five:

In a large pan, heat up some vegetable oil for frying on medium-high heat. Once hot, add in the shrimp mousse wrapped sugarcane sticks and deep fry until they turn crispy and golden brown.

And voila! Your delicious shrimp mousse on sugar cane skewers are ready to be served!

Don’t forget to garnish with extra cilantro for presentation and pair it with your favorite dipping sauce. These make for great appetizers or can be served as part of a larger meal, such as with banh hoi, a traditional Vietnamese dish similar to dim sum.

Substitutions and Variations

 The shrimp mousse has a fluffy, soft texture that is perfectly balanced by the crispy, caramelized sugar cane.
The shrimp mousse has a fluffy, soft texture that is perfectly balanced by the crispy, caramelized sugar cane.

Let’s say you want to put your own spin on this delicious Shrimp Mousse on Sugar Cane recipe, don’t fret! I’m happy to offer some suggestions for substitutions and variations to suit your preferences.

Firstly, if you’re not a fan of shrimp, don’t worry. You can substitute it with ground pork or chicken, or even diced shiitake mushrooms for a vegetarian option. You’ll want to adjust the marinating time accordingly based on your protein choice.

Another substitution option is the sugar cane skewers itself. If you can’t find sugar cane, use bamboo skewers instead. However, keep in mind that the flavor will differ slightly without the sweet aroma of sugarcane.

For variations to the mousse itself, experiment with different types of herbs like basil or mint instead of cilantro. You can also add minced garlic or grated ginger for an extra kick. Additionally, try mixing in some finely chopped red chile for a spicy twist.

Finally, if grilling isn’t an option at the moment, try deep-frying the shrimp mousse instead of grilling it on sugarcane sticks. Serve them as finger food for a fun appetizer at your next gathering.

Remember that cooking is all about personal preferences and playing around with ingredients until you find what works best for you. So feel free to make your own unique variation of this mouth-watering Vietnamese appetizer!

Serving and Pairing

 The vibrant colors of this dish will make your mouth water - yellowish-brown shrimp mousse with the striking green hue of lettuce leaves.
The vibrant colors of this dish will make your mouth water – yellowish-brown shrimp mousse with the striking green hue of lettuce leaves.

Shrimp Mousse on Sugar Cane, or “Chao Tom,” is a timeless Vietnamese dish that looks and tastes amazing. When serving this appetizer, I like to add a splash of color with some fresh cilantro sprinkled on top. The vibrant green leaves accentuate the rich and glistening shrimp mousse that’s wrapped around the sugarcane sticks.

These morsels are so delicious on their own that you could simply enjoy them as they are. However, if you’re looking to take it up a notch, then here are some pairing suggestions for you:

– Dip the shrimp mousse sugar cane sticks in a side of fish sauce mixed with diced red chile and pepper for an extra kick.

– Add some freshly squeezed lime juice over lettuce leaves and wrap the lettuce around the chao tom for an exciting new way to enjoy this dish.

– Pair this Vietnamese appetizer with a chilled glass of white wine or light beer for the perfect combination of flavors.

It’s always great when friends and family come together over a meal, and Chao Tom is an incredibly social dish that everyone will love. You can serve it as part of a Vietnamese food feast alongside banh hoi or alongside other dim sum dishes at your next gathering.

Whether you’re hosting an elegant dinner party or just having a casual get-together with friends, these shrimp sugar cane skewers will magically make everyone happy. And if there happen to be any leftovers, simply reheat them in the oven until crispy to enjoy deep fried shrimp skewers – they taste just as good!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Each bite of the shrimp mousse is bursting with flavor, making it an irresistible appetizer or snack.
Each bite of the shrimp mousse is bursting with flavor, making it an irresistible appetizer or snack.

One of the best things about Shrimp Mousse on Sugar Cane is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for future use. This is great for those who want to prepare for a party in advance or just save time in their busy schedules. The mousse can be made a day or two before serving and then stored in the refrigerator.

When storing the Shrimp Mousse, place it in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated until use. If you’re making a large batch, consider dividing it into smaller portions before storage for easier reheating later on.

To reheat, simply place the Shrimp Mousse on Sugar Cane in an oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can pan-fry them with some vegetable oil until they are crispy and golden brown. If you have leftover mousse, consider using it as a filling for rice paper rolls or topping it over rice vermicelli noodles.

Be warned, however, that the crispy texture may not be retained after reheating, so if you prefer your Shrimp Mousse to have a crunchy texture, it’s best to make them fresh just before serving. But don’t fret – they still taste great even when reheated!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This dish is a feast for your eyes as well as your
This dish is a feast for your eyes as well as your

If you want to achieve the perfect shrimp mousse on sugar cane, here are some tips that can help you:

Firstly, make sure to use fresh shrimp. Using frozen shrimp won’t be as good, as it can affect the texture and flavor of your dish. When buying fresh shrimp, make sure that they have a firm texture and a bright color.

Another important tip is to marinate the shrimp before making the mousse. In this recipe, we marinate it with fish sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper for at least 20 minutes before blending it in a food processor. This step allows the shrimp to absorb all the flavors from the marinade, resulting in a more flavorful and aromatic dish.

It’s also essential to choose high-quality sugar cane. Make sure that the sugarcane sticks are not too thick or too thin. If they are too thick, it will be difficult to insert the mousse inside, and if they are too thin, they may break during cooking.

When wrapping the mousse around the sugarcane sticks, make sure to wrap enough so that it won’t fall apart while cooking. The mousse should be thick but not too dense.

Lastly, pay attention to the cooking time and temperature. Grilling or frying them at medium heat until they are golden brown on all sides will give you perfect results. Overcooking them will dry out the mousse and affect its texture.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your shrimp mousse on sugar cane turns out perfect every time!


Now that we’ve covered the recipe, substitutions and variations, serving and pairing, make-ahead tips and storage recommendations, as well as some helpful tips for perfect results, let’s answer a few frequently asked questions regarding this shrimp mousse on sugar cane recipe – Vietnamese Chao Tom. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, it’s always good to clarify any doubts before starting a recipe. So, let’s dive into some common questions and answers about chao tom!

What is Chao Tom in English?

This recipe article features a dish called Chao Tom, a popular Vietnamese appetizer made with shrimp and sugar cane.

What is shrimp paste in vietnamese?

A pungent and robust fermented seasoning commonly found in Southeast Asian cuisine, particularly in Vietnamese dishes, is known as shrimp paste or mam tom. This condiment comes in two varieties, one being firm and dry while the other moist and saucy.

What is grilled shrimp paste?

This recipe features a classic Vietnamese starter where succulent shrimp paste is molded onto pieces of sugarcane and grilled until a perfect char is achieved.

Bottom Line

There you have it, your ultimate guide to making the perfect Vietnamese shrimp mousse on sugar cane! Whether you’re an experienced cook or a beginner, this recipe is sure to impress your family and friends. With its mouthwatering flavors and unique presentation, it’s the perfect appetizer for any occasion.

So go ahead, gather the ingredients and start preparing this delicious dish. And don’t forget to share with us how it turned out in the comments section below!

Remember, cooking is all about creativity and experimentation. So feel free to improvise and try out different variations of this recipe. You never know, you might just come up with a new family favorite!

So why wait? Let’s get started on making this delectable Vietnamese chao tom recipe today!

Shrimp Mousse on Sugar Cane (vietnamese Chao Tom)

Shrimp Mousse on Sugar Cane (vietnamese Chao Tom) Recipe

A traditional Hue dish, often present in big banquet such as weddings, holiday. Many said it was exclusively an imperial dish in the 18-19 century. Cook time doesn't count marinate time.
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Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 230.1 kcal


  • 10 ounces shrimp, shell removed
  • 1 -2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 pieces sugar cane, 4 inches long
  • 1 red chile, seeded and sliced
  • 1 cup sweet and sour sauce
  • 1/2 cup cilantro


  • Marinate shrimp in fish sauce for at least 20 minutes. Wash shrimp, then pound into paste with salt, sugar and pepper (or grind in food processor).
  • Form shrimp paste around sugar cane pieces, squeeze with oil until paste is tightly attached.
  • Grill over medium charcoal heat until crisp and slightly browned.
  • Garnish with cilantro, serve with chili and sweet and sour sauce.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 153gCalories: 230.1kcalCarbohydrates: 19.3gProtein: 15.9gFat: 9.7gSaturated Fat: 1.4gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 983.1mgFiber: 0.8gSugar: 15.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Vietnamese
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