Sunday, January 9, 2011

Vietnamese Crispy Fried Shrimp with Kumquat Salsa

Com dep, pounded glutinous rice flakes, make a wonderful covering for fried shrimp.  Paired with a kumquat salsa, they are a great appetizer.  Using Andrea Nguyen's Crispy Shrimp Coated with Green Rice as a jumping off point, this recipe is an amalgamation of ingredients and techniques.  It takes very little effort or time to pull together.

Andrea Nguyen has a nice description and history of com here.  For people interested in Vietnamese cooking, her cookbook, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen, is one of the best.

Vietnamese Crispy Fried Shrimp with Kumquat Salsa

12 large prawn, peeled (leaving on the tail and last segment) and deveined
1/2 cup of ginger, peeled
4 TBS water
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
5 TBS tapioca starch
1 large egg
1 tsp fish sauce
com dep--green, glutinous rice flakes (available in Vietnamese supermarkets) 
oil for deep frying

6 kumquats, seeded, chopped
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 shallot, peeled and minced
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce

In a blender, puree the ginger and water.  Press through a sieve, reserving liquid. Mix in the salt and 2 teaspoons sugar.  Marinate the shrimp in this mixture for half an hour or so.  Drain the shrimp.

Mix the tapioca starch, egg and fish sauce in bowl until smooth.  Place a quarter cup or so of the rice flakes on a plate.  Heat  1 to 2 inches of oil in a wok or pan to 350º F.

Dip shrimp into the egg batter and let excess batter drip off before rolling gently in the rice flakes.  Fry several shrimp at a time for a minute or two in the oil, flipping them so both sides are evenly cooked.  Drain on paper towels.  The cooking causes some of the flakes to brown slightly, but most of the covering will remain green.

To make the salsa (which is really more of a kumquat nuoc cham), stir together the fish sauce, vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.  Mix in the other ingredients.

Serve the fried shrimp with the kumquat salsa as an appetizer, or along with rice and vegetables for dinner.

I am submitting this to Delicious Vietnam #9, a monthly blogging event celebrating Vietnamese food.  Founded by Anh of A Food Lover's Journey, and Kim and Hong of Ravenous Couple, Delicious Vietnam welcomes submissions from bloggers around the world.  To learn how you might participate, click here.  The roundup for Delicious Vietnam #9 will be hosted by Pepy of Indonesia-Eats.  Check out the roundup to find the details on who will be hosting Delicious Vietnam #10.


  1. This sounds delicious! Beautiful presentation, too.

  2. I love your presentation here. Very tempting!

  3. Cathy and Pepy,

    Thanks. They taste every bit as good as they look. The rice flakes make a very crisp coating and the kumquat salsa pairs nicely with the shrimp.

  4. I like your take with "com"! Gonna borrow this idea soon enough. Thank you!

  5. Anh,
    Andrea Nguyen deserves all the credit for the idea of using the com as a coating for the shrimp. It does work very well.


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