Simmered prawn – a savory taste of Vietnam

Simmered prawn (tôm kho in Vietnamese), is a delectable and nutritious choice for daily meals. Vietnamese people from all regions enjoy the dish, even though there might be a little difference in the taste.
April 03, 2020 | 08:34
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Simmered prawn is a familiar dish of every Vietnamese families (Photo: Vietnam Tourism)

As is the case with many other seafoods, “tom”( prawn) is a nutritional food and very good for our health.

“Tom kho” also has various kinds of processes and each one has its own special flavour, but one of the most delicious dishes is “Tom kho to”. Similar to “Ca kho”, to make “tom kho” we also have two stages: preparation and cooking.

In preparation stage, we prepare spices including “nuoc mam” (fish sauce), sugar, gourmet powder, pepper, red chilli, onion, garlic, ginger and sometimes a little lemon juice. We also need cooking oil.

We choose big shrimp to make this dish. The shrimp should be fresh. We wash each shrimp carefully and then remove its shell, using knife to cut a shallow line along its body to clear all the dirty things, pull the head back into its body until it reaches the tail to create circle shape and remove “gach tom” from its body. We mash spring onion and chilli together using a mortar and pestle. After that, we some heat oil and stir fry a mixture of mashed spring onion and chilli until fragrant. Then, we add the shrimp to fry until their colour turns light yellow. We pick the shrimp up and boil “nuoc mam” mixed with a spoonful sugar, pepper and a little gourmet powder. Then we add the shrimp to the liquid and boil for several minutes so the shrimp can absorb the spices. After finishing this step, we mix “gach tom” with some drops of lemon juice, a little pepper, sugar, “nuoc mam” and oil, then we simmer this liquid until it reduces. Next, the shrimp are dipped into the reduction. And the dish is finished. It is very tasty to eat with steamed rice.

Besides “ Tom kho to”, there are many types of “ tom kho” like “ tom kho la chanh” “ tom kho nam” , with these dishes we only need some extra ingredients but the method of cooking are based on the same rule like “ tom kho to” and all of them are so scrumptious.

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