It had been too long since I had last had shrimp and I was craving some. I remembered seeing a recipe for caramel shrimp a while ago when I was looking for recipes for the kabocha simmered in caramel sauce that sounded good. Apparently simmering or braising in nuoc mau (Vietnamese caramel sauce) is fairly common in Vietnamese cuisine. Generally if you want to add some sweetness to a recipe you just add some sugar but why not take the opportunity to add some flavour at the same time by using caramel instead of sugar?
I am getting better at making caramel the more I make it and this time it came together easily and without any problems. The caramel shrimp was nice and quick and easy to make and turned out great! I really enjoyed the sweetness and saltiness of the sauce on the succulent shrimp and there was just the right amount of heat. The caramel flavour in the sauce worked really well! I served the caramel shrimp on coconut jasmine rice and the rice soaked up all of the extra sauce and became super tasty. I will definitely be making this again though I think that next time I will add some lime juice for a touch of tartness.
Vietnamese Caramel Shrimp (Tom Rim)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 shallot (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon ginger (grated)
- 1 small chili (chopped)
- 1 pound shrimp (peeled and deviened)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cilantro (chopped)
- Heat the sugar and water in a large pan on medium-high heat until it caramelized and turns a dark brown.
- Carefully add the water and heat until the caramel dissolves. (Caution: The caramel sauce will foam up quite a bit so you need to be careful as you add the water.)
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a pan.
- Add the shallot, garlic, ginger and chili and saute for 3-5 minutes.
- Add the shrimp, 2 tablespoons of the caramel sauce, fish sauce and pepper and simmer until the shrimp is pink all over, about 2-4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the sesame oil and cilantro.
What a delicious sounding dish. We love Asian cuisine – and I have never heard of a caramel sauce before. Defeinately in my “To
Try” pile of recipes. I’ll even put it at the top.
I’ll have to make this one for my Dad, he loves shrimp. Beautiful picture!
I looove caramel!! 😀
Off to my kitchen, and making it now. I’m sure it will be delicious.
This is something I would definitely make and enjoy because it’s soooo different.
Can I bring myself and my pack to your home? Definitely no boring meal at your place Kevin!
I had this one kevin..Isn’t it yummy and worth cooking ?
Nina Timm says
Aahh, another meat-free option. This looks delicious, Kevin and I will try this soon, for sure.
Ooh, I’ve never heard of this but it looks delicious! And I adore shrimp 🙂
Just finished our dinner, this recipe was delish! Thanks.
Sounds very interesting, looks really yummy.
Ooh this looks amazing! I am going to try and make your dish this week!
Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet says
You never cease to amaze me. You have such a flare for Asian cuisine. Bravo!
Gosh that looks AMAZING
oh yes,love your shrimp dish especially cook with fish sauce and cilantro!! I also just post a similar shrimp post but wt Tom-yam:)
Rosa's Yummy Yums says
Delicious! A beautiful and flavorful dish!
hi kevin, all the beautiful recipes you posted while i was gone is making me drool… happy new year!!! 🙂
I always love your shrimp dishes and this one looks really tasty and beautiful
I love the caramel with the shrimp – the picture is making me want to eat that right now!
Clumbsy Cookie says
I never had shrimp this way, but oh boy I’ll have to try it!
Chocolate Shavings says
That sounds like a wonderful new way to enjoy shrimp!
Peter M says
Sounds easy enough and the results are well, very appetizing!
Bellini Valli says
You always have such appealing ideas over here Kevin. Why not add flavour!!!
Rindy R says
This looks ridiculously delicious!
Fantastic looking!! I am sure it’s yummy.
I just love shrimp and rice! and always have it in the freezer for a quick meal! this is perfect1
Passionate About Baking says
Fantastic sounding kevin…I LOVE the sound of this! WOW!! have a great & delicious 2009!!
Dana McCauley says
A sweet & sour touch to the shrimp. I like the notion!
Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer says
I always love when you come up with things where I have just about all the ingredients in the pantry and freezer!! This looks great…..
Looks absolutely delicious! Definitely going in the newly created “2009 recipes to try” file!!
Looks wonderful! I can’t wait to try this caramel sauce.
Sounds and LOOKS delicious! The flavor combination has to be amazing!
Oh, man! Does it get any better? Except for my youngest we LOVE Asian flavors and shrimp!!!!! You know what else is great? Because it has “sauce” my daughter will eat the rice w/it and not complain!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe. This is one of several shrimp dishes that the kids will be gobbling up. Shrimp seems to be popular right around the blogosphere. Yay!
I love Vietnamese Caramel dishes! I’ve never tried shrimp, but I really enjoy pork.
Mike of Mike's Table says
That’s a really interesting twist that never would have crossed my mind. I’ll have to try this out!
Sounds so good, I had a bottle of nuoc nam in the pantry, is a delicious idea
This looks very tasting!
Caramel isn’t easy to make, I’ve had so many problems with it! I’ve never thought of combining it with shrimp, it sounds like a heavenly match!
Beautiful picture and the recipe sounds so good. Kevin, what is fish sauce? I have a recipe I’m wanting to try with red curry/shrimp and it calls for a couple tablespoons of fish sauce. It sounds just gross to me… is it a fishy taste or smell? I just can’t figure out what the ingredients might be!
Karen: Fish sauce is a condiment commonly found in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine that is made from fermented fish. It does not sound good but it does not have a fishy smell or taste and it is quite nice. It is salty and it seems to be used in a way that is similar to soy sauce. Here is the wikipedia link: fish sauce
Wow! I love this!
This sounds so different and delicious!
Mrs Ergül says
I still have leftover caramel from the Nov Daring Bakers Challenge, maybe I will take a shortcut and go that way instead!
Thats a great recipe. I love shrimp & love what u have used here. except i am wondering what I can use instead of fish sauce.. Not very fond of it.
Lorraine E says
Looks great, I’ve tried caramelised pork but never shrimp!
Soma: I would think that soy sauce would work.
Sally Kate says
You must try this… it is a favorite. I cannot wait to try yuor shrimp!
Kevin, thanks for the info about the fish sauce! It does just sound awful to me, but I’ll give it a try so I can make the recipe as given.
Caramel? So it is a sweet dish?
This stuff sounds weird but delicious when done right 🙂
Looks great! I agree that some lime would make this even better.
tigerfish: Yep, sweet and salty and spicy.
This looks absolutely delicious!
// Jennie, a swedish food-blogger.
Now that’s a fascinating idea – on paper I woudl never have thought it would work, but with your pic and description the flavours make perfect sense 🙂
hmmmm i am vietnamese and i’m not sure i have had this before. it looks delicious though
That sounds delicious. Can’t wait to try it!
I made this for dinner tonight with coconut rice, as you suggested. Delicious! We used this rice recipe:http://thaifood.about.com/od/quickeasythairecipes/r/coconutricecook.htm
I’m attempting a post for National Sauce Month which is celebrated in March and I was hoping you wouldn’t mind if I “borrow” your link for Vietnamese Caramel Shrimp, which sounds especially delightful at this very moment. It should be up by tomorrow (24th) so if there is a problem, please let me know.
P.S. I should confess, I’ve been a “lurker” for a while now. I actually found this recipe because you have been in my search engine for some time now.
Thanks so much, Louise
Just had this for dinner. SO delicious and simple. Thanks for sharing.
I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.
It's a bit funny that I don't see any Vietnamese around here, though. Anyhow, good job Kevin; it tastes as good as it does at home to me =)
I made this delicious recipe for dinner tonight. We added cabbage, spring onions and peas.
It was delicious…
In the Caribbean, a similar caramelized sugar method is used to make meat and rice dishes…will have to try this shrimp…looks scrumptious
I made this! It was terrific.
Bukko Canukko says
Hi Kevin – we tried this tonight. Sounds so delicious.. but it was way too salty – maybe 2 Tbls of fish sauce is too much??