Tôm Rim or Vietnamese Caramelized Shrimp is a popular dish to make for many Vietnamese families. The shrimp is nicely marinated with seasonings and then caramelized during the cooking process, which results in one of the most delicious shrimp dishes you’ll have ever had. It’s the perfect bite of savory, sweet and deliciousness that makes for a perfect meal any time of the day.
In my family, we have many different shrimp dishes that we love to make.
But whenever we are wanting something that is both sweet and savory, then there is no better shrimp dish to make than “Tôm Rim”.
Tôm Rim which is also known as Vietnamese Caramelized Shrimp in English, is a shrimp dish that is cooked with sugar and a variety of ingredients to help produce a dish that is out of this world. The shrimps are all covered in that sweet and savory sauce that makes them shine like a mirror.
And being as how the shell is on the shrimp even after it’s cooked, it provides a nice crispy crunch when eating the shrimp. Although the dish can also be made when the shrimp is de-shelled, but my family personally prefers the shelled version better.
Overall, it’s a traditional home-style Vietnamese dish that is perfect to enjoy any time of the day. Whether you eat it with noodles or rice or anything else, the possibilities are endless.
Why This Recipe Works?
- By marinating the shrimp for a long period of time, you are allowing it the chance to infuse itself with all the amazing ingredients and seasonings. This way, after you cook it, the end result will be one of the most delicious shrimps you’ll have ever tried.
- This recipe calls for leaving the shell on the shrimp when we marinate and cook the shrimp. The reason for this is because the shell of the shrimp provides a lot of flavors which can make the shrimp taste so much better.
- By adding sugar to the dish, we help add a bit of a caramelization to the shrimp which gives it a nice sweet taste that is undeniably good.
How To Pick Fresh Shrimp
When making any type of shrimp dish, one of the most important things that you do is to buy fresh shrimp when you are at the market.
The reason for this is because eating shrimp that is not fresh can definitely do your body more harm than good. The last thing you want is to get sick or have a stomach ache from eating un-fresh shrimp.
Which is why, it’s always important to pick fresh shrimp from the market.
Now the best way to do things is to simply buy direct from a seafood merchant where the shrimp are freshly caught, but if you don’t have one around you, then you probably have to go to one of the local stores to buy them.
Unfortunately, most markets that have shrimp on mountains of ice, aren’t exactly the freshest around. Most of these shrimps have been frozen and then thawed, which means each passing over, the shrimp is getting less and less fresh.
So it’s a good idea to ask the person in charge when the shrimp came in and how fresh the shrimp is.
Here are some signs that tell you if the shrimp is fresh or not:
- Smell the shrimp for any weird odors. If the shrimp smells like ammonia or rotten egg, it is most likely already in the decomposition stage and should be thrown away. Fresh shrimp should not have a strong smell and should basically smell like the ocean.
- Look for shrimp that is still in the shell. If the shrimp is fresh, the shell should have a firm and glossy appearance. Black spots on a shell typically mean the shrimp is no longer fresh and was improperly rinsed and iced. Also avoid yellowing near the tail or swimmerets of the shrimp.
- See if you can actually touch the shrimp you are going to buy. If needs to feel moist and firm. If the shrimp is dry and tough, then it is probably bad. Also, if it has a mushy texture, then you should definitely stay away from it.
Ingredients To Make Tôm Rim
The ingredients you’ll need to make Tôm Rim / Vietnamese Caramelized Shrimp can all easily be found at any of your local supermarkets.
Basically, you’ll need the following:
- Shrimp – 1 Pound of Shrimp
Ingredients For Seasoning:
- Fish Sauce – 1 Tablespoon of Fish Sauce
- Chicken Bouillon Powder – 1 Tablespoon of Chicken Bouillon Powder
- Sugar – 2 Tablespoon of Granulated White Sugar
- Ground Black Pepper – 1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper
- Garlic – 3 Cloves of Garlic (Minced)
- Shallot – 1 Large Shallot (Minced)
- Thai Red Chili – 2 Thai Red Chili (Chopped)
- Vegetable Oil – 2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
- Green Onion – 1 Stalk of Green Onion (Chopped Into Small Pieces)
- Salt – 1 Teaspoon Salt for Cleaning Shrimp
- Water – 2 Tablespoons of Water
How To Make Tôm Rim
Making Tôm Rim / Vietnamese Caramelized Shrimp is a really simple thing to do.
Basically, the process to make it is as followed:
Prepping The Shrimp
First thing you’ll want to do is to clean the shrimp.
So grab a large bowl and put your shrimp inside it. Then add 1 teaspoon of salt and mix it around until all the shrimp are coated with the salt. Now rinse the shrimp with some water until all the salt comes off the shrimp.
This will ensure your shrimp is clean as well as getting rid of a lot of fishy smell.
Now grab another large bowl and add back in your cleaned shrimp. Then add in your minced garlic, minced shallot, salt, pepper, and chicken bouillon powder. Stir things around until everything is nicely coated.
Now let it rest for around 30 minutes to marinate. (Best to do it overnight)
Once your shrimp has finished marinating, it’s time to cook it.
Cooking The Shrimp
Grab a large pan or skillet and pour some oil into it over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot enough, add in the chopped Thai chili peppers and then stir it around for a minute.
Then add in your entire batch of marinated shrimp. Stir it around and cook it for a minute or so.
Then add in the sugar, 2 tablespoon of water and fish sauce. Stir everything together and then cover the skillet or pan with a lid and let it cook for about 10 minutes.
Note: Make sure to stir the shrimp around a few times during the 10 minutes.
Once 10 minutes is up, add in a few chopped green onions. Then stir things around for another minute or so and then turn off the stove.
How To Store/Keep For Future Eating
Storing this Tôm Rim / Vietnamese Caramelized Shrimp dish is an incredibly simple thing to do.
Basically, if you have any leftovers remaining, simply wrap it up with some plastic wrap or store it inside of an air-tight container. Then you can put it in the fridge where it should be good for up to 3 days.
As for freezing, you can actually freeze this dish, but I would not recommend it. The texture and consistency when you re-heat this dish after it’s been frozen will be quite different.
Now as for re-heating from the fridge, simply heat it up on the skillet pan again over medium-high heat for a few minutes or until it is nice and hot again. Then it is ready to serve.
FAQS About This Recipe
You can buy any kind of shrimp you want. This dish is very versatile, so if you want to use gulf shrimp or tiger prawns or anything else, all of them will work nicely with this dish.
Of course! If you do not like the shell on the shrimp then you can simply de-shell it before you start the marinating process. There are really no rules here, follow what you like.
Yes, you can. Although I wouldn’t really recommend it as the consistency and texture will be quite different once you re-heat the dish again.
Yes, you can totally do that! Although the more of the shrimp that is left on, the more flavorful the shrimp will be. But if that’s what you want to do, then you can totally do that!
Tips To Make The Best Tôm Rim
- Let the shrimp marinate for as long as possible. Now the minimum time is around 30 minutes, but if you can, try to let them marinate overnight. This way the shrimp will be infused with all of the seasonings that will make it taste absolutely delicious.
- Try to leave the entire shrimp intact when you marinate and cook it. Some people like to de-shell the shrimp or even cut off the head and tails. But in my opinion, I think the best way to cook shrimp is to have all of its parts intact. This way, when it marinates and cooks, it will become a lot more flavorful.
- Make sure not to overcook the shrimp. The last thing you’ll want is if you overcook the shrimp. This will result in them getting rubbery and tough to eat. So if you want the best experience, make sure not to overcook the shrimp.
Tôm Rim Recipe (Vietnamese Caramelized Shrimp)
- 1 LB Shrimp
- 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Chicken Bouillon Powder
- 2 Tablespoon Granulated White Sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 1 Large Shallot Minced
- 2 Thai Chili Pepper Chopped
- 2 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 1 Stalk Green Onion Chopped
- 2 Tablespoon Water
- 1 Teaspoon Salt For Cleaning Shrimp
Prepping The Shrimp
- First thing you'll want to do is to clean your shrimp.So grab a large bowl and place your shrimp inside. Then add in 1 teaspoon of salt and mix it around with the shrimp to coat them.After that, rinse the shrimp clean from the salt. Then pat them dry with a napkin or paper towel.
- Grab another large bowl and place your clean shrimp inside the bowl. Then add in all of your minced garlic, minced shallots, ground black pepper and chicken bouillon powder.Mix it up very well so that all of the shrimps get coated with the seasonings.Then set it aside for a minimum of 30 minutes. (Best to do it overnight).
Cooking The Shrimp
- Once the shrimp has marinated, it's time to cook.Grab a large pan or skillet and pour some oil into it over medium-high heat.Once the oil is hot enough, add in your chopped Thai chili peppers. Then stir it around and cook it for a minute or so.Then add in your entire batch of marinated shrimp. Mix it around and stir for another minute or so.Add in your 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of water and fish sauce.Mix the contents all together and then cover with a lid and let it cook for 10 minutes.Note: During this time, make sure to stir the shrimp every few minutes.
- Once 10 minutes is up, uncover the lid.Add in your chopped green onions and stir it again for another minute or so.Then turn off the heat.
- Serve immediately.
Did you try making my Tôm Rim / Vietnamese Caramelized Shrimp? If so, how were they? I would love to hear all about it down in the comment section below or you can connect with my on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram.
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