Easy Crispy Vietnamese Shrimp Balls


This is my take on the classic Vietnamese sugar cane shrimp recipe and it works great! Serve with Vietnamese dipping sauce (nuoc cham) or mix of hoisin sauce and sriracha hot sauce or plain.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 5 mins
8 servings


  • 1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 ½ cups fine bread crumbs

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • ½ cup vegetable oil for frying, or as needed


  1. Rinse shrimp well under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Coarsely chop shrimp into medium pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor.

  2. Add 1 beaten egg, shallot, sesame oil, cornstarch, brown sugar, fish sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper to the shrimp in the food processor. Blend until a smooth paste is created. Transfer shrimp paste to a bowl and refrigerate until slightly hardened, about 30 minutes.

  3. Remove paste from refrigerator. Use an ice cream scoop, a tablespoon, or your hands to form shrimp paste into balls.

  4. Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to a boil. Add shrimp balls, cover, and steam until they become opaque, about 5 minutes. Transfer steamed shrimp balls to a plate and allow to cool to room temperature, about 5 minutes.

  5. Place bread crumbs in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Place 2 beaten eggs in a separate bowl. Roll steamed shrimp balls in bread crumbs, then in beaten eggs, then again in bread crumbs and then place on a plate.

  6. Heat oil in a small pan over medium heat. Cook shrimp balls until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Cook's Note:

Shrimp paste can be slightly sticky. Wet spoon or hands slightly with water to make handling easier.

Editor's Note:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

297 Calories
19g Fat
17g Carbs
15g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 297
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 156mg 52%
Sodium 385mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 68mg 5%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 162mg 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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