Bánh Tôm (Sweet Potato Shrimp Fritters)
November December 2013
From Ching Li
These fritters, originating in Hanoi, were available at one restaurant along Ho Tay (West Lake). They can now be found in many restaurants along the lake.
3 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. rice flour
2 t. turmeric
1 t. salt
2 c. water
2 dozen prawns, peeled
vegetable oil for frying
Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 3-inch-long matchsticks and set aside.
In a bowl, mix the flours, turmeric and salt. Add water and whisk well until there are no lumps. The consistency should be similar to pancake batter. Add the sweet potatoes and mix well until they are coated with the batter.
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Place 3 to 4 heaping spoonfuls of the mixture in the pan and spread it so that it is flat. Make sure the well-coated sweet potatoes stay close together to create a platform for the shrimp. Quickly place a shrimp on top and about 1-2 T. of the batter to cover the shrimp. This will keep the shrimp in place on top of the sweet potato platform. Fry the shrimp cakes for 2-3 minutes, turning them over when they are evenly brown. Remove the shrimp cakes and drain on paper towels. Repeat until you have used all of the mixture.
Serve with vermicelli, lettuce, mixed herbs and dipping sauce. Makes 24 fritters.