Vietnamese-Style Stir-Fried Sweet Shrimp

Vietnamese-Style Stir-Fried Sweet Shrimp served over rice on a plate

The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 8 mins
Total: 23 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
138 Calories
6g Fat
9g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 138
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 101mg 34%
Sodium 758mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 56mg 4%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 178mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This simple Vietnamese shrimp recipe combines all the yummy flavors of the Southeast Asian part of the world into one package: The shrimp are salty, sweet, savory and spicy all at once. Plus, they are easy to stir-fry and take only a few minutes to cook.

Use decent-sized shrimp for this recipe (no smaller than 25 per pound) if you are serving this alone as an appetizer. If you want to top a rice dish with these shrimp to make the main course, you can use smaller ones.

These shrimp are served shell-on, which keeps them moist and gives them more flavor than if you removed the shell. But if shelling shrimp at the table is not for you, you can remove the shells and still make this dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound shrimp, uncooked, unpeeled

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil, or other vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey, or light brown sugar

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped

  • 1 to 3 small hot chiles, such as Thai chiles, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup chicken stock, or fish stock

  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

  • Cooked rice, optional, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Vietnamese-Style Stir-Fried Sweet Shrimp ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

  2. With a sharp knife, slice down the backs of the shrimp to expose the black "vein," which is the shrimp's digestive tract. Pull out this little vein, but keep the shells on the shrimp. Rinse under cold water and pat dry.

    Raw shrimp in a bowl wrapped in paper towels

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

  3. Heat the peanut oil and sesame oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat for a minute or two.

    Oil in a pan

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

  4. Add the shrimp and the honey or brown sugar and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the garlic, shallot, and chile peppers, and stir-fry for another minute or two.

    Shrimp, honey, garlic, shallot, and chile peppers in a pan with a wooden spatula

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

  5. Add the stock (you can use water if you do not have stock available), fish sauce and salt and turn the heat to its highest setting. Let this boil down until the pan is nearly dry, which should only take a minute or two.

    Shrimp cooking in a pan

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

  6. Serve at once, garnished with the cilantro over rice, if desired.

    Vietnamese-Style Stir-Fried Sweet Shrimp in a pan, rice in a bowl and cilantro in a bowl

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

Tips

  • You can adjust the heat any way you want. You could use three Thai chiles for some serious heat, or 1 full cayenne would be similar, as would half a habanero. Or you can use less to your taste―or none at all.


  • This is excellent beer food, but a sweet-salty Thai limeade would be great, too (if you can’t find Thai limeade, just add a pinch of salt to your favorite limeade brand). As for pairing with wine, go with a gewürztraminer or an off-dry Riesling, or maybe a tropical-tasting Roussanne from California.