Banh Tom (Sweet Potato Shrimp Fritters)

banh tom

Who doesn’t love anything that’s battered and fried? Banh tom is another Vietnamese dish originating from Hanoi and is made of deep fried battered sweet potato and shrimp. Along the Ho Tay (West lake) in Hanoi, you’ll find the original Banh Tom Ho Tay Restaurant as well as numerous other restaurants serving this delicacy. The orange color is from the natural flesh of sweet potato and a little bit of turmeric powder in the batter. Often served as an appetizer, banh tom is commonly wrapped with lettuce, herbs, and pickled vegetables and dipped in nuoc mam cham.

We actually made this appetizer to serve along with the mi quang (Vietnamese turmeric noodles) we made last month. It was a great combination and shows the versatility of turmeric. We also love a little beer in our batter–give that a try!

Sweet Potato Shrimp Fritters (Banh Tom) makes 12
Printable Recipe 

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (cut into french fry like slices)
  • 12 large head and shell on shrimp, deveined (you can also use head and shell off as well, but we prefer everything intact for more crunch!)
  • 1 package of tempura batter (several different brands are available in Asian groceries– just follow package instructions–but instead of water, we substitute half water/beer)
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric powder
  • lettuce, herbs such as basil, mint, perilla, Vietnamese balm, pickled carrots and daikon
  • nuoc mam cham
sweet potato shrimp fritters

Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into thin french fry slices and set aside. Prep the shrimp and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, mix the tempura mix with water, beer, salt, pepper, and tumeric powder. The mixture should be gooey and thick like the consistency of Elmers glue. Add the sweet potatoes and coat well.

Heat frying pan to medium high. Shape the well coated sweet potatoes into a platform for the shrimp, about 4-5 pieces and place in frying pan, making sure they stay close together and not spread apart. Immediately coat a shrimp with a little batter and place on top of the sweet potatoes, pressing it firmly down and holding it there for a few seconds with some tongs. The shrimp will stick onto the sweet potatoes, but you might want to spoon over some hot oil the shrimp to cook the batter sealing the shrimp on.

Fry to golden brown on each side and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately or you can make some in advance and quickly heat it under the broiler to regain that crunch.

banh tom


Wrap with lettuce, herbs, and dip with nuoc mam cham. Sweet, savory, crunchy and delicious! 

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe and

Bookmark and Share
  Pin It

11 Responses to “Banh Tom (Sweet Potato Shrimp Fritters)”

  1. 1

    Anonymous — June 24, 2009 @ 7:02 pm

    Yummy! Brings back old memories when my mom made it for me as a kid! I got high expectations for you when I come visit in a couple weeks! I am off from school now, and am in the mood for banh pate so. Just made it, it turned out good, so I will bring my mom some tomorrow morning! 🙂

  2. 2

    French Accent — June 25, 2009 @ 1:36 am

    You made my day! I love bánh tôm! Look forward to trying out this recipe this weekend. Thanks!

  3. 3

    The Food Addicts — June 25, 2009 @ 4:01 am

    Yum! This is another one of my favorites! I love sweet potatoes – and the fact that it's fried tastes even better. I'll have to remember this dish next time I have an abundance of sweet potatoes & shrimp!

  4. 4

    Gastronomer — June 25, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

    All of your recipes elicit the same response, DAMN, that looks terrific!

    I'm starting to sound very redundant

  5. 5

    Jenny — June 30, 2009 @ 1:13 pm

    Banh tom also tastes great fried with onions (that's how I have it) 🙂

  6. 6

    Ravenous Couple — June 30, 2009 @ 3:14 pm

    Anonymous: Banh pate-so is so good!

    French Accent: Let us know how it goes! We hope you like it.

    Food Addicts: It would be great if the sweet potatoes were from your awesome garden.

    Gastronomer: Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

    Jenny: Sort of like fried onion rings? That would be good. Checked with my mom who is the best cook in the world :)and she shuddered at the thought of using sourcream or yogurt with Cha Ca Thang Long…so there you have it 🙂

  7. 7

    Jeff Shattuck — July 9, 2009 @ 4:39 am

    I love this dish. Last time I ordered it in Little Saigon (Brodard) I asked for no shrimp (because I love the yams soooo much). The waiter just stared at me like WTH… no Shrimp… what's the point?

  8. 8

    Ravenous Couple — July 10, 2009 @ 5:45 pm

    Jeff: That's hilarious! Brodard def. makes a great banh tom.

  9. 9

    hado — September 4, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

    Are You guy FOLLOW the STORY of "JULIE POWELL"in the movie JULIE & JULIA ? sharing…. SOMEONE RECIPES from Vietnamese cook book and make some stories….
    You imaging yourself that was New Idea!!!! Good point for copying!!!
    Who take pictures? They are so nice, That true created.

  10. 10

    Banh Tom (Sweet Potato Shrimp Fritters) | HANOI STREET FOOD — May 16, 2012 @ 9:21 am

    […] Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Chuyên mục mới post. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  11. 11

    Hanoi Cooking Centre, Part Two: In the Kitchen! - Apples Under My Bed - A food diary. — April 26, 2014 @ 2:40 am

    […] very flavourful. If you want to try them out at home a) be careful of the oil, and b) see this link here for what looks to be a good […]

Leave a Comment