Vietnamese Shrimp Sausage with Nuoc Cham
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 head oak leaf lettuce, leaves separated
- 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and sliced into half moons
- 6 sprigs Thai basil
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 red Thai chile, minced
- 1/3 cup long grain rice
- 1 pound headless, peeled, and deveined tiger shrimp, and minced
- 2 scallions, trimmed and minced
- 1 teaspoon tapioca starch or cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Stir together 1/4 cup fish sauce, agave, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Add the garlic and chili; set aside.
- On a platter arrange in separate piles, the lettuce leaves, cucumber slices, and Thai basil; set aside.
- Toast rice over medium-high heat until golden in a dry skillet for 1 to 2 minutes, continuously shaking the pan to prevent burning the grains. Let cool before transferring to a spice grinder to process until fine; transfer rice flour to a plate.
- Mix together shrimp, scallions, tapioca starch, baking soda and remaining fish sauce. Divide into 12 portions, shaping each into small 2-1/2-inch long sausages, rolling into the toasted rice flour.
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, and cook the sausages until golden on all sides and opaque all the way through, about 2 minutes.
- Wrap a sausage with a lettuce leaf, add Thai basil and cucumber into the fold. Dip in nuoc cham.
Garlic and chilies can be pungent. When making the dipping sauce, adjust the spiciness by either slicing, chopping or mincing these ingredients. The more broken down they are, the spicier the sauce. Mint leaves or cilantro are equally delicious options, if you can’t find Thai basil.
What others are saying
Jessica Scott says:
I loved this shrimp sausage, especially wrapped in lettuce leaves! The dipping sauce was really good too, I love the garlic and chili flavor together.
Greg Jones says:
This shrimp sausage was really good. Didn't take long to make and the dipping sauce was excellent. I plan to make this again and serve it as an appetizer for my next get together.