Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp – Tom Cang Nuong Recipe

There’s something truly special about Vietnamese cuisine – the rich blends of spices, fresh herbs, and diverse textures make it hard to resist. And when it comes to seafood dishes, Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp – Tom Cang Nuong Recipe is one of the best there is!

If you’ve never tried this mouthwatering dish before, then you’re in for a treat. The combination of sweet and savory flavors will dance on your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

But don’t be intimidated by the name – this dish is easy to prepare, and the reward is worth every bit of effort. All you need are some fresh ingredients and a bit of patience while you marinade your shrimp to perfection. Trust me; your guests will be blown away!

So why not step up your BBQ game with this fantastic recipe? Get ready to impress your guests with a taste of Vietnam that they’ll never forget.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp - Tom Cang Nuong
Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp – Tom Cang Nuong

Indulge in the tantalizing flavors of Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp. This Tom Cang Nuong Recipe is a must-try for seafood lovers who crave something new and exciting.

Firstly, let’s talk about the ingredients. The combination of sugar, fish sauce, sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and lime juice creates a sweet and tangy marinade that pairs perfectly with the succulent large shrimp. The garlic and onion add depth to the flavor profile, giving it a spicy kick that will keep your taste buds dancing.

Secondly, this dish is incredibly versatile. Serve it as an appetizer or entree, pair it with a refreshing green papaya salad, or use it as filling in spring rolls or banh mi sandwiches. It is sure to be a crowd pleaser at your next gathering.

But what sets this recipe apart from others is its authenticity. Inspired by traditional Vietnamese grilled shrimp dishes found in street food stalls and restaurants across Vietnam, this recipe brings an authentic taste of Vietnamese cuisine right into your home.

In addition to being delicious and versatile, this recipe is also easy to make. With simple instructions on how to grill the shrimp to perfection, even those who are not experienced at grilling will be able to create a successful dish.

Overall, Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp should be on your list of must-try dishes. With its bold flavors, versatility and ease of preparation, it is no wonder why this dish has become a popular staple of Vietnamese cuisine both in Vietnam itself and in Vietnamese restaurants around the world. So why not give it a try and experience the pure joy of savoring its amazing flavor profile?

Ingredient List

 Bring the exotic flavors of Vietnam to your grill with our Tom Cang Nuong recipe.
Bring the exotic flavors of Vietnam to your grill with our Tom Cang Nuong recipe.

Let’s start by gathering all the ingredients we will need to make this delicious Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp – Tom Cang Nuong Recipe. This recipe calls for large shrimp, or tôm càng, which are perfect for grilling.

Here is the full list of ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Optional: prawns roe sauce for serving

Don’t forget to check your pantry and make sure you have all the necessary ingredients before hitting the grocery store.

The Recipe How-To

Now the moment we’ve been waiting for, let’s grill some shrimp!


  • 1 lb. large shrimp (Tom Càng Lớn), peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (đường)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (nước mắm)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt (muối biển)
  • Freshly ground pepper (Tiêu bột) to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime (Nước chanh)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (nước mắm)
  • 4 cloves garlic (Tỏi), minced
  • 1 small onion (Hành tím), finely chopped

Marinating the Shrimp:

In a mixing bowl, mix the sugar, fish sauce, garlic, onion, freshly ground pepper, and sea salt until well combined to make the marinade. Toss in the large shrimp and mix well so they are all coated evenly in the marinade. Cover and let sit for at least an hour up to several hours in the refrigerator.

Preparing the Grill:

Preheat your outdoor grill or stovetop grill pan on medium-high heat. If using a charcoal or gas grill, oil the grates.

Take the marinated shrimp out from the fridge and put them on skewers by piercing them through their tails and head ends.

Grilling the Shrimp:

Grill the skewered shrimp for about two minutes per side, rotating them so they cook evenly on both sides, until they turn slightly pink or orange in colour. Make sure not to overcook them as they can get rubbery. Remove from heat once cooked through.


Once done, squeeze lime juice(Nước chanh) over it right away for a great flavour boost. Serve hot with rice(Cơm) or with Vietnamese noodles such as Pho Loan or a rice noodle salad(Goi Cuon) for a full meal experience. You can also serve these grilled shrimp alongside grilled pork(Thịt Nướng) or Indochine baguettes banh mi bread rolls.

Now that you have mastered this delicious Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp recipe, get creative with it! Add variations by grilling prawns(Tôm) or adding Prawns Roe Sauce(Sốt Hải Sản) to elevate this dish to an unique experience. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 Watch as the succulent shrimp sizzle on the grill, filling the air with mouthwatering aromas.
Watch as the succulent shrimp sizzle on the grill, filling the air with mouthwatering aromas.

There are a few substitutions and variations you can try with this Vietnamese grilled shrimp recipe to make it your own.

Firstly, if you can’t find jumbo shrimp or fresh water prawns, feel free to use smaller or different types of seafood, such as squid or scallops. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

For those who prefer a milder flavour, reduce the amount of fish sauce or replace it with soy sauce. You can also use coconut sugar instead of regular sugar for a subtle sweetness.

If you don’t have access to an outdoor grill, you can use a stovetop grill pan or even a regular non-stick pan.

To add some vegetable crunch to your meal, try pairing the grilled shrimp with a green papaya salad or goi du du in Vietnamese. This refreshing salad can be made with shredded green papaya, carrots, herbs and peanuts in a tangy dressing of lime juice, fish sauce and sugar.

Another variation is to try making rice noodle salad. Simply toss cooked rice noodles with fresh vegetables and herbs like lettuce, bean sprouts, mint and cilantro. Top it off with grilled shrimp Tom Cang Nuong and a homemade nuoc cham sauce made of lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic and chili pepper.

This recipe is also great when served alongside other Vietnamese dishes such as spring rolls or pho loan noodle soup. It’s perfect for those who are looking for an authentic Vietnamese food experience at home.

No matter how you choose to enjoy this dish, I hope my substitutions and variations inspire you to get creative in the kitchen.

Serving and Pairing

 Our perfectly seasoned marinade adds a tangy kick to every bite of these grilled shrimp.
Our perfectly seasoned marinade adds a tangy kick to every bite of these grilled shrimp.

Now the fun part – serving and pairing your Vietnamese grilled shrimp!

As a street food delicacy in Vietnam, this dish pairs perfectly with a variety of sides and dipping sauces. For a traditional Vietnamese experience, serve your grilled shrimp with steamed rice and a side of pickled vegetables such as green papaya salad or mixed vegetable slaw.

If you’re in the mood for something lighter, pair your shrimp with a rice noodle salad instead. The coolness of the noodles complements the heat from the spices in the shrimp and creates the perfect balance of flavors in each bite.

For those who love seafood, try pairing your grilled shrimp with a bowl of pho loan or any seafood-based noodle soup. The flavors of the broth blend well with the tangy and spicy notes of the shrimp marinade, making it a true crowd-pleaser.

And if you’re looking to amp up your grilling game even further, try serving your grilled shrimp alongside some grilled pork chops or lemongrass pork for an added layer of flavor that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.

No matter what you choose to serve it with, be sure to have plenty of Indochine baguettes or rice on hand to mop up any leftover roe sauce. Trust me, you won’t want to waste a single drop.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These beautifully <a href=grilled shrimp are as colorful as they are delicious.” />
These beautifully grilled shrimp are as colorful as they are delicious.

When it comes to make-ahead, storing, and reheating Vietnamese grilled shrimp, it’s important to handle the dish with care to ensure its succulent flavor and texture remain fully intact.

If you want to make the dish ahead of time, you can marinate the shrimp in advance and keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to grill it. The marinade can be prepared up to three days in advance and kept in an airtight container in the fridge.

To store leftover grilled shrimp, be sure to cool them down to room temperature first before placing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, the shrimp can keep fresh for up to two days. But be warned, reheating already cooked shrimp can often result in rubbery or chewy texture.

Instead, I recommend enjoying cold shrimp leftovers by incorporating them into a delicious rice noodle salad or a green papaya salad. Simply add some fresh herbs, vegetables and seasonings of your choosing like fish sauce, lime juice or chili peppers- Voila! A new tasty dish!

As with all meats, be mindful of food safety when handling and storing grilled shrimp. Avoid leaving cooked food at room temperature for more than two hours and always defrost frozen seafood thoroughly before cooking it.

While it may take some extra effort on your part to store and reheat grilled shrimp properly, it’s well worth the effort. Your delicious Vietnamese grilled shrimp will retain its taste, freshness and quality if handled correctly throughout its entire life cycle from marinating to enjoying leftovers- It’s what makes the hard work worth it!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Catch every last drop of the flavorful marinade with each bite of these juicy grilled shrimp
Catch every last drop of the flavorful marinade with each bite of these juicy grilled shrimp

When grilling shrimp, it’s important to remember that they cook quickly and can easily become overcooked and rubbery. Here are some tips for getting the perfect Vietnamese grilled shrimp (tom cang nuong) every time.

First, make sure your grill is hot before adding the shrimp. Preheat the grill for at least 15 minutes, and brush the grates with oil to prevent sticking.

To add a flavor boost, try marinating the shrimp for at least 30 minutes before grilling in a mixture of lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, and sugar. This will not only add flavor but also help tenderize the shrimp.

When it’s time to grill, make sure to skewer the shrimp tightly so that they don’t curl up while cooking. You can also use a grill basket or wrap them in foil packets to prevent them from falling through the grates.

Don’t move the shrimp around too much while grilling. Let them cook on one side until they’re partially cooked through, then flip them over and cook until fully cooked. Overcooking will result in tough and rubbery shrimp.

Finally, when serving your grilled shrimp tom cang nuong, don’t forget to garnish with fresh herbs like cilantro or mint and serve with a squeeze of fresh lime juice for an extra burst of flavor.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp – Tom Cang Nuong Recipe is perfect for any BBQ occasion. This delectable dish blends the tangy flavors of lime juice, fish sauce, and garlic with the savory taste of grilled shrimp to create a mouth-watering experience that will leave your guests wanting more.

With simple but expertly chosen ingredients, this recipe is easy to prepare and can be customized to suit your preferences. The substitutions and variations section offers numerous ideas for adding your own twist to this classic Vietnamese recipe.

Don’t forget to pair this dish with some delicious sides like rice noodle salad or green papaya salad, along with some freshly made spring rolls or egg rolls. These additions will complement the grilled shrimp perfectly and take your BBQ experience to the next level.

If you are hosting an outdoor party and want to impress your guests with some unique cuisine, then you simply cannot go wrong with Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp – Tom Cang Nuong Recipe. This iconic dish has become a staple in Vietnamese street food and restaurants worldwide, so try it out and see why it’s one of our favorites!

Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp - Tom Cang Nuong

Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp – Tom Cang Nuong Recipe

The dipping sauce is the key to this tasty exotic dish, which has a North Vietnamese style.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 146.1 kcal


  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • wooden skewer

For the Marinade

  • 1 small onion, minced,rinced under cold water,and drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 -2 dash fish sauce

For the Dipping Sauce

  • 1 lime, juice of
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar


  • Mix the onion, garlic, oil, and fish sauce in a bowl large enough to hold the shrimp.
  • Add the shrimp, toss to coat evenly, and marinate, covered, at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Soak the wooden skewers in water for 20-30 minutes.
  • Prepare grill or preheat broiler.
  • To prepare the dip, mix together the lime juice, pepper, salt, fish sauce, and sugar, in a small bowl, mixing well; adjust seasonings to taste (add a little water or sugar if dip seems too tart).
  • Thread shrimp onto wooden skewers; lightly coat each finished skewer with oil or cooking spray, and place on grill over medium coals or heat (or place on pan under broiler), and cook approximately 5 minutes, turning once, or until shrimps are pink, firm, and slightly charred in spots.
  • Serve shrimp with the dipping sauce.
  • A good accompaniment would be steamed rice, or an Asian noodle dish.



Serving: 147gCalories: 146.1kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 23.5gFat: 3.1gSaturated Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 172.8mgSodium: 523.9mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 1.5g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Sauces, Spicy, Spring, Summer, Vietnamese
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Shara @The Bird BBQ

Shara loves to experiment with different flavors and techniques when it comes to BBQ. She has been perfecting her craft for years and loves hosting backyard BBQs with friends & family. She often comes up with creative recipes that her guests rave about.