Vietnamese Shrimp Chips Soup Recipe (Banh Canh Phong Tom)

Banh Canh Phong Tom, or Vietnamese Shrimp Chips Soup, gained popularity as a trending recipe in Vietnam in 2023. This dish, while not entirely new, is a rustic soup from the western region of Vietnam. The shrimp chips, called “Phong Tom”, resemble thick noodles (known as “Banh Canh” in Vietnamese), hence the name “Banh Canh Phong Tom” is used. Let’s explore how to make this delightful dish.

Vietnamese shrimp chips soup

What are Shrimp Chips and How to Cook Them?

Shrimp chips, also known as prawn crackers, are a popular snack in many Asian countries, particularly in Southeast Asia. These chips are made from a mixture of ground shrimp or prawns, starch, and various seasonings. The mixture is typically shaped into thin, flat discs or sheets, then is dried into chips. These chips are a popular addition to dishes like seafood stir-fries or noodle soups, and they are readily available in many Asian grocery stores or online.

When deep-frying, shrimp chips puff up and expand, becoming light and crispy. They have a distinctive texture that is both airy and crunchy. The flavor is often savory and has a mild seafood taste due to the use of shrimp or prawns as a primary ingredient. Some variations of shrimp chips may also include additional seasonings like garlic, chili, black pepper, or other spices for added flavor.

Deep-fried shrimp chips are a common as a snack or appetizer in Asian cuisine, and they are often enjoyed with dips or sauces, such as sweet chili sauce or sriracha sauce. They come in various colors, with the most common being a white to ivory hue, although other colors may be used for variety.

In addition to deep frying, you can also microwave or air-fry shrimp chips to achieve a healthier, oil-free version. While the quality may not match that of deep-fried chips, it offers a quick and healthy alternative to satisfy your chip cravings immediately.

Furthermore, rather than frying, you can boil shrimp chips to create this Shrimp Chips Soup, known as “Banh Canh Phong Tom” in Vietnamese. My review of the taste of this soup: excellent. The flavor is remarkably close, at around 80%, to the original Banh Canh (thick noodle soup). The chips, once boiled, transform into a soft and slightly chewy texture, nearly similar to thick noodles. They are exceptionally flavorful, thanks to the shrimp content in each piece.

Vietnamese Shrimp Chips Soup
Soaking shrimp chips to make Vietnamese Shrimp Chips Soup

Ingredients of Vietnamese Shrimp Chips Soup

The Broth

  • 500g pork bones
  • 150g carrots
  • 150 daikon
  • 1.5 liter of water
  • 1-2 tbsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp fish sauce

Alternatively, you can use store-bought chicken or pork broth.

Shrimp Chips

  • 400g shrimp chips

Toppings

  • 200g ground pork
  • 200g shrimp
  • 8 quail eggs
  • A cup of spring onion, chopped

The toppings are flexible; you can also add ingredients like pork hock, crab meat, or other options of your choice.

Cooking Instructions

Step 1. Preparation

  • Wash the pork bones, peel the carrots and daikon, and cut them into pieces for simmering.
  • Soak the shrimp chips in water for 20 minutes. Ensuring they absorb enough water will help shorten the boiling time.
  • Wash the shrimps, remove any remaining veins and the hard skins, and season the ground pork with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Step 2. Simmering the broth

  • Transfer all the ingredients for the broth (pork bones, carrots, daikon) to a pressure cooker, an Instant Pot, or a regular pot. If you use a regular pot, cook on medium heat for 45 minutes. In case you use a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, cook under high pressure for 20-30 minutes. Once done, adjust the flavor with salt and fish sauce.

Step 3. Boiling shrimp chips, shrimps, and quail eggs

  • There are two ways to cook the shrimp chips. You can either boil them separately in water or simmer them directly in the broth for 10-15 minutes. If you choose to boil them in water separately, rinse the cooked shrimp chips under cool water and set them aside. Reserve a portion of the shrimp chips’ boiling water to add to the broth. If you decide to cook them in the broth, remember to add a bit more water (approximately 200-300ml) because the chips will absorb liquid from the broth. Keep in mind that if you cook the chips directly in the broth, you should consume the soup immediately; otherwise, the chips may absorb too much liquid and become mushy.
Vietnamese Shrimp Chips Soup
  • Shrimps and quail eggs: You have the option to either boil them separately in another pot or cook them together with the shrimp chips, either in water or directly in the broth. Boiling them directly in the broth will infuse more flavor into the soup. While they are boiling, stir-fry the ground pork until it is well-cooked. Once everything is ready, peel the shells off the quail eggs.

Step 4. Assembling

  • It’s time to assemble the soup. Start by adding the boiled shrimp chips, followed by the other toppings, and then pour several ladles of the broth. Finally, garnish with a generous handful of chopped spring onions.
vietnamese shrimp chips soup

Storing Vietnamese Shrimp Chips Soup

To store this soup for future meals, I recommend boiling the chips separately instead of boiling them in the broth. Store all the ingredients separately from the broth, and only assemble them in a bowl when you are ready to enjoy. Please note that the boiled shrimp chips should not be stored for more than one day.

Vietnamese shrimp chips soup
Vietnamese shrimp chips soup

Vietnamese Shrimp Chips Soup (Banh canh phong tom)

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Banh Canh Phong Tom, or Vietnamese Shrimp Chips Soup, gained popularity as a trending recipe in Vietnam in 2023.

Ingredients

The Broth

  • 500g (17.6 oz) pork bones
  • 150g (5.3 oz) carrots
  • 150g (5.3 oz) daikon
  • 1.5 liter (50 fl oz) of water
  • 1-2 tbsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp fish sauce

Shrimp Chips

Toppings

  • 200g (7 oz) shrimp
  • 8 quail eggs
  • A cup of spring onion, chopped
  • (Optional) 200g (7 oz) ground pork
  • (Optional) 200g (7 oz) Pork hock, crab meat

Instructions

Step 1. Preparation

  • Wash the pork bones, peel the carrots and daikon, and cut them into pieces for simmering.Vietnamese shrimp chips soup banh canh phong tom
  • Soak the shrimp chips in water for 20 minutes. Ensuring they absorb enough water will help shorten the boiling time.Vietnamese Shrimp Chips Soup
  • Wash the shrimps, remove any remaining veins and the hard skins, and season the ground pork with a pinch of salt and pepper.Vietnamese Shrimp Chips Soup

Step 2. Simmering the broth

  • Transfer all the ingredients for the broth (pork bones, carrots, daikon) to a pressure cooker, an Instant Pot, or a regular pot. If you use a regular pot, cook on medium heat for 45 minutes. In case you use a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, cook under high pressure for 20-30 minutes. Once done, adjust the flavor with salt and fish sauce.Vietnamese Shrimp Chips Soup

Step 3. Boiling shrimp chips, shrimps, and quail eggs

  • There are two ways to cook the shrimp chips. You can either boil them separately in water or simmer them directly in the broth for 10-15 minutes. If you choose to boil them in water separately, rinse the cooked shrimp chips under cool water and set them aside. Reserve a portion of the shrimp chips' boiling water to add to the broth. If you decide to cook them in the broth, remember to add a bit more water (approximately 200-300ml) because the chips will absorb liquid from the broth. Keep in mind that if you cook the chips directly in the broth, you should consume the soup immediately; otherwise, the chips may absorb too much liquid and become mushy.Vietnamese Shrimp Chips Soup
  • Shrimps and quail eggs: You have the option to either boil them separately in another pot or cook them together with the shrimp chips, either in water or directly in the broth. Boiling them directly in the broth will infuse more flavor into the soup. While they are boiling, stir-fry the ground pork until it is well-cooked. Once everything is ready, peel the shells off the quail eggs.Vietnamese Shrimp Chips Soup

Step 4. Assembling

  • It's time to assemble the soup. Start by adding the boiled shrimp chips, followed by the other toppings, and then pour several ladles of the broth. Finally, garnish with a generous handful of chopped spring onions.vietnamese shrimp chips soup
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 600g
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 675

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