Chao Tom (Sugarcane Prawns)

Prep Time
Cook Time
1h 15m
Ready In

Recipe: #29445

May 02, 2018

"From My Kitchen Rules contestants Kim and Suong published in our weekday newspaper The West Australian. Times are estimated."

Original is 6 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (369.3 g)
  • Calories 623.2
  • Total Fat - 7 g
  • Saturated Fat - 2.4 g
  • Cholesterol - 124.5 mg
  • Sodium - 2844.7 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 114.9 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 3.2 g
  • Sugars - 67 g
  • Protein - 24.2 g
  • Calcium - 170.5 mg
  • Iron - 2.2 mg
  • Vitamin C - 12.9 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.2 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Place vinegar and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot and then remove from heat and stir in carrot and daikon and set aside for 1 hour to pickle.

Step 2

Meanwhile to make chao tom, place all ingredients in a food processor and process until a chunky paste forms and then transfer to a big mortar and then dip a pestle in the extra fish sauce and pounds paste for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic and then divide oaste int 12 portions and using oiled hand, wrap each portion around a quarter stick of sugarcane and place on an oven tray in a single layer and cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinate.

Step 3

For nuoc cham, pound sugar, garlic and chilli until a smooth paste forms and then stir in remaining ingredients and 60ml (1/4 cup) of hot water to combine and then set aside to infuse.

Step 4

Cook rice noodle sheets, two at a time, in a big saucepan of boiling salted water for 1 minute or until just flexible and transfer to a bowl of cold water and then drain.

Step 5

Fill a deep fryer or big saucepan one third full with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat to 180C (or until a cub of bread turns golden in 10 secons).

Step 6

Working in batches, drop chao tom into the oil and fry, turning, for 6 minutes or until crisp and golden, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

Step 7

Trim flesh from the sugarcane and put a lettuce leaf on each serving plate and top with noodles, herbs and prawn.

Step 8

Drain pickled vegetables and place on top.Wrap to enclose and dip in sauce to serve.


No special items needed.

Editorial Notes

The ingredient tips, suggestions, variations, facts, questions and answers below are not edits to the original author's recipe. They are not meant to imply any change would improve the recipe. They're offered for convenience, alternative ideas, and points of interest. If you have any comments about them, please post in the Help & Ideas forum.

  • Look for large prawns with their shells still intact for the best flavor.
  • If possible, try to use fresh fish sauce for the Nuoc Cham sauce for the best flavor.

  • Substitute the white vinegar with apple cider vinegar for a milder flavor. The benefit of this substitution is that it adds a subtle sweetness to the dish, which is complemented by the sweetness of the sugarcane.
  • Substitute the fish sauce with soy sauce for a more intense flavor. The benefit of this substitution is that it will add a deeper and more savory flavor to the dish, which will be balanced by the sweetness of the sugarcane.

Vegetarian Variation Replace the shrimp, snapper fish and ground pork with 500 grams of firm tofu. Replace the fish sauce with soy sauce and omit the baking powder.

Vietnamese Mango Salad with Grilled Pork. This light and fresh salad is the perfect accompaniment to Chao Tom, as it adds a contrast of flavors and textures to the dish. The sweet and sour dressing of the mango salad pairs perfectly with the savory and spicy flavors of the Chao Tom, creating a delicious balance of flavors.

Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp: Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp is the perfect complement to the Vietnamese Mango Salad with Grilled Pork. The sweet and savory flavors of the shrimp combine with the tartness of the lemongrass to create a delicious contrast to the sweetness of the mango salad. The shrimp also adds a crunchy texture to the dish, making it a satisfying and flavorful meal.


Q: What type of oil is used to deep fry the Chao Tom?

A: Vegetable oil is used to deep fry the Chao Tom.

Q: What is the origin of Chao Tom?

A: Chao Tom is a Vietnamese dish that originated in the Mekong Delta region. It is a popular street food in Vietnam.

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Fun facts:

Chao Tom is a popular Vietnamese street food that is believed to have originated in the 19th century. It is a popular dish among the Vietnamese royal family and was served on special occasions.

The recipe for Chao Tom was made popular by My Kitchen Rules contestants Kim and Suong. The two contestants were the first Vietnamese-Australian contestants to appear on the show and they won the hearts of many viewers with their delicious dishes.