International Recipes

Shrimp in Caramel Sauce
(Tom Kho - Vietnamese)

The onions should practically disintegrate into the sauce. Adding the oil at the end lends a bit of extra richness; traditionally more lard or oil was added than prescribed here to also give an appetizing sheen to the shrimp.


  • 1 1/2 pounds (31-40 count) medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoonsCaramel Sauce
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 green onion, green tops only, chopped
  • Steamed rice, for serving


  1. Place the shrimp, salt, fish sauce and Caramel Sauce into a shallow saucepan. Bring to a vigorous simmer over high heat.
  2. Add the yellow onion and pepper, stirring to evenly distribute. Continue cooking over high heat, occasionally turning the shrimp so that they're well coated with sauce. They'll curl up and release their juices to combine with the other ingredients and concentrate into a dark sauce. Add a little water if things get too dry.
  3. The shrimp are done when they've taken on an orange-brown color and have a pleasant sweet chewiness, about 8 to 10 minutes after you've added the onion and pepper. There will be a few tablespoons of sauce in the pan.
  4. Remove from the heat, add the oil and stir to coat the shrimp.
  5. Scatter the green onion on top and serve with lots of steamed rice.

4 servings

Each serving, without rice: 229 calories; 725 mg sodium; 276 mg cholesterol; 7 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 10 grams carbohydrates; 31 grams protein; 0.58 gram fiber

Source: Los Angeles Times - February 6, 2002

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