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Vietnamese Shrimp In Caramel Sauce (Tom Kho)

Updated on March 14, 2012
Tom Kho
Tom Kho | Source

This is the easiest kho one can make. Instead of fish or other meat protein such as pork or chicken, this kho is using shrimp as main ingredient. The shrimp then simmer in caramel sauce for quite "long time" to transform it into richly flavored and colored dish. But do not get wrong, the overcook shrimp has a nice chewiness and deep sweetness.

Here is how to make shrimp in caramel sauce. For true Vietnamese flavors, this caramel dish can be prepared in traditional clap pot. Traditionally, shrimp in the shell is used and Vietnamese love to add extra pork lard to give the shrimp shiny gloss looking but for the joy of eating, I love to use peeled shrimp.

What You Need

Serves 4


2 lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp fish sauce

3 tbsp caramel sauce

1 onion, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp cooking oil

2 spring onions, chopped

How to Fix

  • Heat a saucepan over high heat. Add shrimp, salt, fish sauce and caramel sauce. Cook about 1 - 2 minutes. Then add onion and black pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Continue to cook over high heat for about 15 minutes or until shrimp have turned brown, sweet and little bit chewy. Stir the shrimp occasionally. If the saucepan begins to dry, add one or two tablespoon water. The shrimp juice should be concentrate into a thick-red-mahogany-colored sauce.
  • Remove from the heat. Then add the coil. Stir to combine and coat the shrimp. Transfer to serving plate and garnish with chopped spring onions.

Tom Kho - in Vietnamese


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