(aka tôm kho tộ, braised shrimp in claypot–not quite sure what the difference is between “kho” and “kho tộ” is–there probably is a subtlety I’m not well versed in…)
This is a very simple dish to make; what’s daunting is the number of ingredients required, though a well-stocked Vietnamese/Chinese pantry should have most of what you need. I rarely have both spring onions and coriander in my fridge (since neither of them really keeps well), so I made the most of it this time. Plus, they make the picture all pretty
I don’t have a claypot (they’re not really easy to use on an electric stove), so I made this in our Le Chasseur Dutch oven–very handy for that kind of thing, as long as you remember to heat it up gradually and gently (bit like a claypot, really…)
- 250g shrimp, unpeeled (weight is with the head off, around 12-15 large-ish shrimp)
- 50g glass noodles (bean-thread vermicelli)
- ¾ white onion
- 2 stalks celery, chopped on the diagonal in 1cm-pieces
- 4 tablespoons chopped coriander
- 2-inch piece of ginger
- 3 garlic cloves
- 0.5 teaspoon black pepper
- 1.5 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar (or 2 sugar lumps)
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 4 spring onions, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1.5 cup chicken stock
- Put the glass noodles in hot water until soft (half an hour). Then chop the noodles into 10cm-strands.
- In a mortar pound to a paste the garlic, ginger and half the coriander. Add the pepper and mix well.
- Heat up the cast-iron Dutch oven to medium heat, put some oil in it. When the oil is hot, add the paste and fry until fragrant (20s or so). Then add the shrimp and ¼ onion, and fry for a bit, turning the shrimp around, until they’re barely cooked (a soft pink). Remove the shrimp from the Dutch oven and save for later.
- In Dutch oven, mix together 1 cup of the chicken stock, the rice wine, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Bring to a boil, and add the glass noodles. Stir until they’re well coated with sauce, then add the celery and remaining onion. Cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes or so.
- Add the shrimp, the remaining ½ cup chicken stock, and the spring onions, cook for a minute until everything is warm.
- Garnish with the remaining coriander and serve in clay plot. Best eaten with rice.