Bánh Tôm Hồ Tây Recipe

Lastest Updated April 19, 2024
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Bánh tôm Hồ Tây, also known as Vietnamese shrimp and sweet potato fritters, are a delightful Vietnamese delicacy, originating from Hanoi’s iconic West Lake area (Hồ Tây).

This dish features crispy, golden-fried shrimp fritters, made from a mixture of sweet potatoes and batter, with whole shrimp nestled on top. It’s a popular snack or appetizer, perfect for any time of the day.

Creating these fritters at home is easier than you think. You’ll need just a few basic kitchen tools, a selection of simple ingredients, and follow 6 straightforward steps to bring this traditional Vietnamese snack to your table.

Plus, I’ve got 6 handy tips to guarantee your fritters are nothing short of perfect – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, with just the right hint of sweetness.

Ready to get started? Let’s jump into the recipe!

Banh Tom Ho Tay1

What Is Bánh Tôm Hồ Tây?

Bánh tôm Hồ Tây is a traditional Vietnamese dish originating from Hanoi. It consists of julienned sweet potatoes that are divided into small portions and coated in a batter.

Each portion of sweet potatoes is then topped with a shrimp, and the entire combination is deep-fried until it achieves a crispy texture.

Bánh tôm is traditionally enjoyed by wrapping each fritter in lettuce and fresh herbs like mint, Vietnamese coriander, perilla, or Thai basil, and then dipping it in Vietnamese dipping sauce (Nước Chấm) for an extra layer of flavor.

This dish became popular in Hanoi in the 1930s, attracting many food enthusiasts with its simple yet delicious ingredients, especially along Thanh Nien Street between Truc Bach and West Lake.

This seafood specialty is known for its savory, crispy bite and is often served as an appetizer or snack. It is available all year round, attracting both locals and tourists.

To craft this exquisite dish, certain essential tools are indispensable, ensuring the cooking process is both efficient and enjoyable.

What Are Vital Tools for Bánh Tôm Hồ Tây?

The following tools are crucial for achieving the perfect texture and flavor of bánh tôm Hồ Tây:

  • Pan: For frying the shrimp and potato fritters.
  • Ladle: To shape the fritters.
  • Chopsticks: For positioning the shrimp and adjusting the shrimp and potato fritters while frying.
  • Sieve: To drain the sweet potatoes.
  • Tongs: For flipping the fritters in the pan and removing them after frying.
  • Knife: To slice sweet potatoes.
  • Cutting Board: For preparing ingredients.
Banh Tom Ho Tay Tools

The magic of bánh tôm Hồ Tây lies in its carefully selected ingredients, which blend harmoniously to create its signature flavor.

Which Ingredients Are Needed for Preparing Bánh Tôm Hồ Tây?

To create the delightful bánh tôm Hồ Tây, a traditional Vietnamese shrimp and sweet potato fritter, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Medium-Sized Shrimp: Essential for bánh tôm Hồ Tây, but larger, soft-shelled shrimp can also be used. Keep shells on to retain moisture during frying.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Key ingredient for the fritters. Choose any variety for different sweetness and color.
  • Rice and Wheat Flour: Base for the batter, adjust ratios for desired texture.
  • Tapioca Starch: Enhances fritter crispiness. Substitute with other starches for different crunch levels.
  • Seasonings: Sugar, salt, onion powder, and turmeric powder, are essential seasonings. Customize these to taste for enhanced flavor and color.
  • Kohlrabi and Carrots: To make the pickled vegetables that add tanginess to the dish..
  • Vietnamese Dipping Sauce: Ideal dip for the fritters, but other sauces can be explored for variety.
  • Fresh Herbs: Garnish with lettuces, fish mint, mint, and Thai basil, or add other herbs as preferred.

Mastering the art of making bánh tôm Hồ Tây involves following a series of steps that transform simple ingredients into a culinary masterpiece.

How to Make Bánh Tôm Hồ Tây?

Making bánh tôm Hồ Tây involves a simple 6-step process: preparing the ingredients, preparing the batter, frying, and serving.

Step 1: Prepare the Pickled Vegetables

Mix kohlrabi and carrot with 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of vinegar.
Stir well and adjust the taste to achieve a balanced sour, salty, and sweet flavor. Pre-mixing with sugar helps keep the vegetables crisp.

As the kohlrabi and carrot need time to absorb the flavors, start this step first.

Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 1 Prepare the Pickled Vegetables

Step 2: Prepare the Sweet Potatoes

Cut the sweet potatoes into bite-sized slices.

Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 2 Prepare the Sweet Potatoes

To preserve their vibrant yellow color, soak the slices in lightly salted water while preparing other ingredients.

Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 2 Prepare the Sweet Potatoes1

Step 3: Prepare the Shrimp

Marinate shrimp with 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt, mixing well to ensure the shrimp are thoroughly seasoned.

Traditional bánh tôm Hồ Tây uses small to medium-sized shrimp. Larger shrimp can be used, but choose those with soft shells.

Do not peel the shrimp, as the shell helps prevent them from getting burnt or dried out during frying.

Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 3 Prepare the Shrimp

Step 4: Prepare the Batter

Combine 0.22 pounds (100g) of rice flour, 0.13 pounds (60g) of wheat flour, 0.11 pounds (50g) of tapioca starch, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1.5 teaspoons of onion powder, 1.5 teaspoons of turmeric powder, and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 4 Prepare the Batter

Gradually add about 300ml of water to the dry ingredients, stirring to achieve a thick yet pourable consistency. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes.

Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 4 Prepare the Batter1

Step 5: Frying

Drain the sweet potatoes well.

Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 5 Frying

Mix them into the batter to coat evenly.

Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 5 Frying1

Heat cooking oil over medium heat. The oil should be deep enough for frying, so adjust the quantity according to the size of your pan.

Use a large spoon to place the batter-coated sweet potato slices in the oil, forming a nice circular shape.

Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 5 Frying2

Place a shrimp in the center of each sweet potato circle.

Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 5 Frying3

Gently slide the fritter into the hot oil, maintaining its shape.

Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 5 Frying4

Fry the fritters, flipping them to ensure both sides are golden brown and crispy. Once done, remove the oil and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Fry multiple fritters in a batch to save time.

Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 5 Frying5

Step 6: Serve

Bánh tôm Hồ Tây is best enjoyed hot for the ultimate crispy experience. Serve with the prepared pickled vegetables and fresh herbs, and dip into sweet and sour fish sauce for a delightful taste. Enjoy your freshly made bánh tôm Hồ Tây!

Elevating the flavor of bánh tôm Hồ Tây to new heights can be achieved with some expert tips, making each bite an unforgettable experience.

Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 6 Serve

Which Tips for a Tastier Bánh tôm Hồ Tây?

Banh Tom Ho Tay3

Enhance your bánh tôm Hồ Tây with these expert tips for superior taste and texture:

  • Optimal Size: For the perfect crunch, keep the fritters small and fry them at a medium heat of 170 to 190°C (338 to 374°F). It’s all about finding that sweet spot.
  • Double Frying: Initially fry until just done, if not serving immediately, and re-fry before serving for extra crispiness.
  • Flavor Boost: Use turmeric for a golden color and enhanced taste. Onion powder is optional but adds aroma.
  • Keep It Balanced: Avoid large fritters or too much sweet potato to ensure a crunchy texture throughout.
  • Egg Yolk Alternative: If no baking powder is available, use egg yolks for a smoother batter, straining after mixing.
  • Shrimp Proportion: Add one or two shrimps per fritter, ensuring the batter fully covers them.

Beyond bánh tôm Hồ Tây, Vietnam’s vibrant street food scene offers a plethora of other dishes that are equally tantalizing and worth exploring.

What Are Other Must-Try Vietnamese Street Dishes?

Here are some dishes similar to Bánh Tôm Hồ Tây in Vietnamese cuisine:

  • Bánh Xèo: A Vietnamese crispy pancake filled with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, and herbs, served with lettuce and dipping sauce.
  • Bánh Khọt: Mini savory pancakes with shrimp and coconut milk, served with herbs and dipping sauce.
  • Bánh Cống: Vietnamese fried cake made from rice flour, grated coconut, scallions, and often shrimp or mung beans.
  • Bánh Phồng Tôm: Deep-fried shrimp crackers made from ground shrimp and starch, served as a crispy snack.

Embark on a Culinary Journey with Bánh Tôm Hồ Tây

Bánh tôm Hồ Tây, a crispy and flavorful shrimp fritter from the heart of Hanoi, invites you to delve into the essence of Vietnamese street food. This delightful dish, with its perfect blend of savory shrimp and sweet potatoes, offers a taste of Vietnam’s iconic West Lake in every bite.

I encourage you to recreate this exquisite snack in your own kitchen. If this bánh tôm Hồ Tây recipe has inspired you, please share the experience with your friends and family.

I’m excited to read your thoughts and stories in the comments section; let’s celebrate the rich and diverse tastes of Vietnamese cuisine together

Banh Tom Ho Tay

Bánh Tôm Hồ Tây (Vietnamese Shrimp and Sweet Potato Fritters)

Dive into the heart of Vietnamese cuisine with these delightful bánh tôm Hồ Tây, a signature dish of Hanoi that encapsulates the essence of simplicity and flavor.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 hours
Total Time: 50 minutes
Calories: 1360kcal

Ingredients

For the Fritters:

  • 0.44 pounds 200g medium-sized shrimp
  • 0.88 pounds 400g large sweet potatoes
  • 3.5 ounces 100g rice flour
  • 2.1 ounces 60g all-purpose flour
  • 1.8 ounces 50g tapioca starch
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the Pickles:

  • 2.8 ounces 80g kohlrabi, thinly sliced
  • 1.8 ounces 50g carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar

Dipping Sauce & Herbs:

  • Sweet and sour garlic chili sauce
  • Fresh herbs assortment: lettuce fish mint, mint, basil, Vietnamese coriander

Instructions 

  • Mix kohlrabi and carrot with 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp vinegar. Set aside.
    Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 1 Prepare the Pickled Vegetables
  • Slice sweet potatoes into thin strips.
    Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 2 Prepare the Sweet Potatoes
  • Soak sweet potatoes in salted water.
    Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 2 Prepare the Sweet Potatoes1
  • Marinate shrimp with 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp salt, and mix well.
    Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 3 Prepare the Shrimp
  • Combine rice flour, all-purpose flour, tapioca starch, sugar, salt, onion powder, turmeric powder, and baking powder in a bowl.
    Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 4 Prepare the Batter
  • Gradually add 300ml water to form a thick batter. Rest for 30 minutes.
    Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 4 Prepare the Batter1
  • Drain sweet potatoes.
    Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 5 Frying
  • Mix sweet potato strips into the batter until well coated.
    Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 5 Frying1
  • Pour enough oil into the frying pan to fully submerge the fritters, heat to medium. Spoon a portion of the sweet potato-batter mix into the oil.
    Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 5 Frying2
  • Place shrimp on top.
    Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 5 Frying3
  • Carefully lower the fritter into the hot oil, keeping its shape intact.
    Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 5 Frying4
  • Cook until golden brown and crispy, flipping once. Then drain on paper towels.
    Banh Tom Ho Tay Step 5 Frying5
  • Serve hot with pickled vegetables and fresh herbs, accompanied by dipping sauce.
    Banh Tom Ho Tay4

Video

Notes

  • Small fritters ensure even cooking and crispiness.
  • Maintain oil temperature at 170–190°C (338–374°F) for optimal frying.
  • For extra crunch, re-fry fritters before serving if they’ve cooled down.
  • Baking powder can be replaced with egg yolk for a smoother batter texture if preferred.

Nutrition

Calories: 1360kcal | Carbohydrates: 273g | Protein: 61g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 321mg | Sodium: 5588mg | Potassium: 2570mg | Fiber: 21g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 65184IU | Vitamin C: 63mg | Calcium: 558mg | Iron: 10mg
Tien - Alden

Tien – Alden

Content Writer

Expertise

Home Cooking, Recipe Development, Food Editor, Beverage Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Asian Food Content Creator

Education

Saigon Tourism College

  • Program: Certificate in Culinary Arts
  • Focus: Vietnamese and Chinese cuisines.

Advanced Culinary Workshop, Beijing

  • Program: A three-month intensive program of Advanced Culinary Workshop
  • Focus: Authentic Chinese cuisine.

Vietnamese Traditional Cooking School

  • Program: Certificate of Vietnamese Traditional Cooking
  • Focus: A specialized course on traditional and family recipes passed down through generations.

American College of Vietnam

  • Program: Bartender
  • Focus: Provide background knowledge and help students confident to create appealing drinks

Alden is a skilled chef with expertise in Asian cuisines, known for blending traditional Vietnamese and Chinese cooking with contemporary innovations. Alden’s passion for Asian flavors and her creative approach to both food and beverages inspires fellow chefs and those aspiring to enter the field.

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