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Vietnamese Sugar Cane Prawn Skewers

Laura Romeo - Weber Grill Expert

Difficulty: easy
  • People

    Serves 8

  • Prep Time

    15 min.

  • Barbecue Time

    15 min.

Ingredients
Instructions

the Ingredients

Vietnamese Sugar Cane Prawns
  • Sugar cane, stripped clean, 12cm batons (see note)
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Iceberg lettuce, to serve
  • Cucumber, cut into thin batons, to serve
  • Fresh coriander leaves, to serve
  • Fresh mint leaves, to serve

Prawn Mixture:

  • 300 grams prawn meat, finely chopped
  • 300 grams pork mince
  • 3 spring onions, white and light green parts, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cm piece of ginger, grated
  • ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, tender inner stem only, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated palm sugar (or 2 teaspoons brown sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 1 egg white

Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (lighter variety)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated palm sugar (or 2 teaspoons brown sugar)
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced

Instructions

These skewers, (a.k.a Chao Tom), are a favourite traditional appetiser in Vietnam. The flavourful prawn and pork meat grilled over the flame of the barbecue is best enjoyed with fresh ingredients like lettuce and herbs. The components of this recipe can be customised to your menu. You could even use the meat and dipping sauce to create cold rolls with rice paper and vermicelli noodles.
  • For the dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • Prepare the barbecue for direct cooking over medium-high heat (210°C-250°C).
  • Prepare the barbecue for direct cooking over medium-high heat (210°C-250°C).
  • Prepare the charcoal barbecue for direct cooking over medium-high heat (210°C-250°C).
  • Prepare your barbecue for direct cooking over medium-high heat (210°C-250°C). If you are using a Weber Pulse, preheat your barbecue with the lid closed and your control knob(s) on high for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the barbecue reaches 260°C.
    Prepare your barbecue for direct cooking over medium-high heat. If you are using a Weber SmokeFire, set the temperature to 270°C and preheat.
  • To create the skewers combine all of the prawn mixture ingredients. Work the mixture with a spoon or your hands, mixing for a couple of minutes to help thicken the mixture. If needed you can add extra cornflour to bring it together. Ideally the mixture will be soft but will just hold shape. Divide the mixture into 8 portions and shape around the skewers (if using). Spray the top side of the meat with olive oil cooking spray to help prevent them from sticking to the grill (see note).
  • Brush the cooking grills clean with a wire brush. Place the skewers, oiled side down first, onto the cooking grill over direct medium-high heat with the lid closed. Grill on each side for 5 minutes until caramelised sear marks are visible and skewers are cooked through.
    Brush the cooking grills clean with a wire brush. Place the skewers, oiled side down first, onto the cooking grill over direct medium-high heat with the lid closed. Grill on each side for 5 minutes until caramelised sear marks are visible and skewers are cooked through.
    Brush the cooking grills clean with a wire brush. Place the skewers, oiled side down first, onto the cooking grill over direct medium-high heat with the lid closed. Grill on each side for 5 minutes until caramelised sear marks are visible and skewers are cooked through.
    Once your barbecue has preheated, brush the cooking grills clean with a wire brush. If you are using a Weber Pulse: turn the control knob(s) to one notch greater than medium (240°C-260°C). Place the skewers, oiled side down first, onto the cooking grill over direct medium-high heat with the lid closed. Grill on each side for 5 minutes until caramelised sear marks are visible and skewers are cooked through.
    Once your barbecue has preheated to the set temperature (SmokeFire: 270°C), brush the cooking grills clean with a wire brush. Place the skewers, oiled side down first, onto the cooking grill over direct medium-high heat with the lid closed. Grill on each side for 5 minutes until caramelised sear marks are visible and skewers are cooked through.
  • Serve the skewers with the lettuce, cucumber, mint, coriander and nuoc cham dipping sauce. The idea is to use the lettuce as a wrap, wrapping the meat and herbs together, finishing with a drizzle of the dipping sauce.

Note 1

We used fresh sugar cane, outer layers stripped off and cut into 12cm lengths. Alternatively, you can use lemongrass. The skewer is not necessary (mainly for presentation), although it does impart a subtle sweetness and can be chewed on after. You can simply form kofta shape patties.

Note 2

You will only need to spray the top side of the meat, to prevent them from sticking to the grill (from the sugar in the prawn mixture). As long as the oil sprayed side goes down first onto the cooking grill they won’t stick and the non- oil sprayed side will be sealed naturally from cooking with the lid down.

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