Kim and Suong - Chao Tôm
Prep time: 30 mins (+1 hour marinating)
Cook time: 30 mins
250ml (1 cup) white vinegar
2 carrots, cut into julienne
½ small daikon, cut into julienne
3 sticks canned sugar cane, cut into 15cm lengths, quartered lengthways
Vegetable oil, to deep-fry
300g fine rice vermicelli noodles, to serve
Butter lettuce leaves and Asian herbs, to serve
500g large prawns, peeled, deveined, cleaned
50g firm white fish fillets
50g pork mince
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tbs caster sugar
60ml (¼ cup) fish sauce, plus extra, to dip
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp baking powder
3 coriander stalks, chopped
3 spring onion stalks, chopped
110g (½ cup) caster sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 red bird’s-eye chilli, finely chopped
1 lime, zested
125ml (½ cup) lime juice
125ml (½ cup) fish sauce
60ml (¼ cup) orange juice
1. Place vinegar and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot. Remove from heat and stir in carrot and daikon. Set aside for 1 hour to pickle.
2. Meanwhile to make chao tom, place all ingredients in a food processor and process until a chunky paste forms. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Dip a pestle in extra fish sauce and pound paste for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
3. Divide paste into 12 portions. Using an oiled hand, wrap each portion around a quarter-stick of sugar cane. Place an oven tray in a single layer. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinate.
4. To make nuoc cham, using a mortar and pestle, pound sugar, garlic and chilli until a smooth paste forms. Stir in remaining ingredients and 60ml (¼ cup) hot water to combine. Set aside to infuse.
5. Cook rice noodles sheets, two at a time, in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 1 minute or until just flexible. Remove and transfer to a bowl of cold water. Drain.
6. Fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan one-third full with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat to 180C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds). Working in batches, gently 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. Trim flesh from cane.
7. Place a lettuce leaf on each serving plate and top with noodles, herbs and prawn meat. Drain pickled vegetables and place on top. Wrap to enclose and dip in sauce to serve.