Tom Rang Muoi Salt and Pepper Shrimp

salt pepper shrimp

Tom rang muoi – salt and pepper shrimp is a favorite dish of ours that my mom used to make whenever she saw large whole shrimps on sale. Even though mom is an awesome cook and knows all her recipes by heart, she still enjoys to watching TV cooking shows, particularly Chef Uyen Thy of the cooking show “Bep Nha Ta Nau” on SBTN, a southern California Vietnamese TV station. She also has a restaurant called Uyen Thy Bistro in Little Saigon that we enjoy. Uyen Thy is really charming to watch and the show is well produced with many practical Vietnamese recipes including tom rang muoi. But unfortunately for most, it’s entirely in Vietnamese. We enjoy watching it to brush up on our Vietnamese and learn recipes! 🙂 We modified her recipe of tom rang muoi adding some sichuan peppercorns as well.

Salt and Pepper Shrimp Tom Rang Muoi (adapted from chef Uyen Thy)
Printable recipe

  • 10-12 large head on shell on shrimps
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1 tbs kosher salt
  • 1 tbs fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 ts sugar
  • 1 ts sichuan peppercorns (optional)
  • cooking oil
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced in thin wedges
  • 1 -2 jalapenos, sliced thin and use according to taste
  • 1 scallion, cut about 1/2 inch length
  • 1 tbs minced garlic

Wash shrimp in cold water and cut off long whiskers and sharp point on the head with scissors and dab dry with paper towel.

In small bowl, combine salt, pepper, and sugar and set aside. If you’re using the sichuan pepper corns, lightly toast and then using mortar and pestle, crush coarsely and add to seasoning mixture.

Heat large wok or deepfryer with cooking oil to high, about 350 degrees. Dredge the shrimp in the corn starch to get a light coating, shaking off excess. Deep fry the shrimps in small batches until nicely pink/red and crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Remove and drain.

Heat another large wok/pan with a bit of cooking oil. When oil is hot, add garlic and then onions, jalapenos, and scallions. Quickly stir-fry the veggies for a minute or so and add the shrimp and sprinkle about 1/2-1 ts seasoning mixture. Continue to stir fry and make sure seasoning coats well, for another minute. Transfer to serving plate and serve immediately. Sprinkle on additional seasoning according to taste.

tom rang muoi

Some people add the seasoning to the cornstarch mix, but we find this doesn’t coat well because the cornstarch and seasoning have different densities and do not adhere to the shrimp evenly. If you don’t want to deep fry the shrimp, skip that step and stir fry the shrimp. Serve with rice or as appetizers.

tom rang muoi


A great salty, spicy, and crunchy dish! Our favorite part is the head! 🙂


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48 Responses to “Tom Rang Muoi Salt and Pepper Shrimp”

  1. 1

    Jackie at — September 18, 2009 @ 8:38 am

    I'm salivating. I'm definitely getting some shrimp at the grocery store tomorrow. Your blog always makes me hungry, gotta stop visiting your blog late at night lol. I love the texture of the crispy shell. Gotta eat this dish with a ton of steamed jasmine rice. The shell are packed with calcium, a good bonus too!

    Check my caramelized shrimp, it's a great finger food for my buffet-style dinner parties.

  2. 2

    mathildescuisine — September 18, 2009 @ 11:46 am

    I am a big fan of shrimps and i'm always lookinf for creative recipes to cook them. I think I have just found one!

  3. 3

    Connie — September 18, 2009 @ 12:45 pm

    I think my husband may beg me to make these (he won't have to beg). They look and sound SO good. I love the combo of textures and flavors.

  4. 4

    {kiss my spatula} — September 18, 2009 @ 3:10 pm

    this is one of my hubby's most favorite dishes. in fact, we just had a big serving in seattle last week and was craving for more last night. your version looks like perfection!!

  5. 5

    Ravenous Couple — September 18, 2009 @ 4:02 pm

    Jackie: with tom rang muoi, the shell and head of the shrimp are both our favs 🙂 we'll have to check your your recipe

    mathildescuisine: salt pepper shrimp is really a quick way to enjoy it..let us know how it goes!

    connie: tom rang muoi does have great texture, let us know how it goes for you!

    giao: the shrimps in seattle must be amazing…we'll love to see your version sometime

  6. 6

    Ivy — September 18, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

    Τhanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog. It is a pleasure to discover yours and I look forward to exploring and visiting.
    OMG, those shrimps look amazing and making me hungry.

  7. 7

    Jessica@Foodmayhem — September 18, 2009 @ 4:24 pm

    That first picture is really stunning. It just makes me want to rip right into that crunchy head. hahaha The Chinese version of this dish is almost exactly the same and I love the delicious simplicity of it.

  8. 8

    Ravenous Couple — September 18, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

    Ivy: Thanks for stopping by! We hope your enjoy our blog full of vietnamese recipes and more!

    Jessica: the head in tom rang muoi is our favorite too!

  9. 9

    girlichef — September 18, 2009 @ 6:25 pm

    Yum, these are beautiful and sound absolutely delicious! I love salt & pepper shrimp…but yours look way better than any I've ever tried. And I've never tried the head…I must!

  10. 10

    5 Star Foodie — September 18, 2009 @ 7:43 pm

    These are gorgeous shrimps! I would love the delicious crunchy texture!

  11. 11

    Chow and Chatter — September 18, 2009 @ 8:42 pm

    wow love your blog and this looks amazing so cute you do it together

  12. 12

    Elra — September 18, 2009 @ 11:07 pm

    thank you so much for visiting my blog, and lead me to yours.

    Lovely dish, and look amazingly delicious!

  13. 13

    Ravenous Couple — September 18, 2009 @ 11:45 pm

    girlichef: Thanks for the compliments and visiting our blog!

    5 star foodie: the crunch of the salt and pepper shrimp is one of our favorite reasons to eat this.

    show and chatter: Thanks, we hope you stop by often! 🙂

    elra: thanks for stopping by our blog!

  14. 14

    Carolyn Jung — September 19, 2009 @ 3:15 am

    As a newbie to your lovely blog, can I just say how drop-dead gorgeous your photos are? I feel like I can almost reach through the computer to grab one of those bodacious shrimp. Sigh, if only I could! 😉

  15. 15

    Sophia — September 19, 2009 @ 4:57 am

    Wow! That looks amazing! Your photography skills are STELLAR and though I've never been a prawn fan…you've made a believer out of me! Now I really want to grab me one of those!

  16. 16

    Anderburf — September 19, 2009 @ 6:55 pm

    This looks really good! I recently got some Himalayan sea salt and organic peppercorns from Sustainable Sourcing and I think I'll use them in this recipe tonight. Thanks for sharing!

  17. 17

    papierteresa — September 20, 2009 @ 1:53 am

    my mom loves uyen thy too!
    where do you guys watch her videos?

  18. 18

    Jen — September 20, 2009 @ 3:36 am

    So glad i hopped over here!! I was just trying to figure out what to do w/some spot prawns I bought!! this looks incredible!!!!

  19. 19

    petite nyonya — September 20, 2009 @ 3:07 pm

    Wow, this salt & pepper shrimp definitely looks fabulously good!

  20. 20

    Tung — September 20, 2009 @ 4:16 pm

    Phuc, your photos and cooking look awesome! One item which I haven't seen covered on any recipe site on the net is Boiling Crab's shrimp w/ the whole shebang seasoning. If you're up for the challenge and can come up w/ 'Shrimp w/ Ravenous couple seasoning"….my jaws would drop…haha.

  21. 21

    Pam — September 21, 2009 @ 3:44 am

    Wow! This looks like an amazing dish…excellent photos.

  22. 22

    Comradechu — September 21, 2009 @ 4:40 pm

    I love this dish, but never thought to look up recipes before. I'm looking forward to trying this out and btw, great pictures.

  23. 23

    Katherine Aucoin — September 21, 2009 @ 5:31 pm

    Gorgeous photos! Shrimp is a staple at our home and I am definitely going to give this a try!

  24. 24

    Ravenous Couple — September 21, 2009 @ 10:06 pm

    carolyn: thank you so much for visiting our site..yours is fab!

    sophia: we wished we could share our tom rang muoi, but it's quick and easy recipe to try at home!

    anderbuf: exotic sea salts would be a great way to try salt pepper shrimp. thanks for letting us know.

    papierteresa: we catch her on youtube!

    jen: thanks for visiting! let us know how how salt pepper shrimp works for you.

    petite nyonya:thank you!

    tung: the whole shebang is really tasty, but we like that on crawfish 🙂

    pam: thank you!

    comradechu: let us know know how salt and pepper shrimp recipe goes for you.

    katherine: thanks and let us know how tom rang muoi recipe works for you.

  25. 25

    Fearless Kitchen — September 21, 2009 @ 11:26 pm

    This looks really delicious, and the ingredients are all easily accessible 🙂

  26. 26

    Ravenous Couple — September 21, 2009 @ 11:34 pm

    fearless kitchen: thanks for stopping by our blog. salt and pepper shrimp recipe is really as simple as it sounds.

  27. 27

    LaLa — September 22, 2009 @ 12:36 am

    This look so yummy! My mom used to make this all the time. I miss her cooking so much. I will definitely try this soon.

  28. 28

    Ravenous Couple — September 22, 2009 @ 6:12 am

    LaLa: Tom rang muoi is really easy to put together…let us know how it goes!

  29. 29

    Ellie — September 24, 2009 @ 12:25 am

    I am always looking for new recipes for prawns. This looks delicious and so well presented. Must try!!

  30. 30

    Ravenous Couple — September 24, 2009 @ 6:05 am

    ellie: tom rang muoi is very quick to prepare..and the juicier/fresher the prawns, the better!

  31. 31

    Anonymous — November 28, 2009 @ 9:49 pm

    I love your recipes and photos. I use photos from my computer as my screen saver, when I try to save any of your photos it just says OK and DOESNOT allow me to save the picture. Am I doing something wrong or is it that you donot allow your pictures to be used. Help!!

    Thank you Jean

  32. 32

    Anonymous — December 12, 2009 @ 1:41 am

    I just made this for me and my dad, using this recipe. He loved it and so did I. Tom rang muoi has always been a favorite of mine at the restaurants in the bay area, including Bo Luc Lac. This tasted very much as in the restaurant, and I used honey instead of sugar and sea salt instead of regular salt for a bit more a healthy meal. Thank you very much for showing me the yummy way and bring this wonderful TRM onto my table.
    – Thy Nguyen. San Francisco –

  33. 33

    Ravenous Couple — December 12, 2009 @ 3:11 am

    Thy: Thank you so much for the feedback–it's comments like yours that really make this blog and sharing recipes enjoyable! Do keep in touch and comment more often!

  34. 34

    Xuan — February 15, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

    I discovered your blog yesterday and decided to try out some of your recipes today. I made Tom Rang Muoi, Ga Kho, and Ca Chua Nhoi Thit. Since my boyfriend does not eat pork, I substituted ground beef for ground pork. I also added diced white onions, A LOT of black pepper, and bean thread noodles to the ground beef mixture. Needless to say, everything was a hit. Even my picky mother, who never thinks anyone's cooking is as good as hers, complimented me on the Ca Chua Nhoi Thit. Thank you!

  35. 35

    Ravenous Couple — February 18, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

    Xuan: Thank you so much for the feedback on our recipes!! Wish we could have been there for dinner! 🙂 Take some photos next time and we'll post them! 🙂

  36. 36

    evelyn — February 22, 2010 @ 5:01 am

    like your mom, i was at the market and saw these wonderful large prawns (18 per #)on special sale. after purchasing them, i went home and very quickly prepared your most wonderful recipe. they were absolutely outstanding !!! and the addition of the sichuan peppercorns makes all the difference. one suggestion i would offer, would be to deep fry them for 1 to 2 min., not 3 or 4. thanks

  37. 37

    Ravenous Couple — February 23, 2010 @ 1:37 am

    Evelyn: So glad the recipe went well for you!!! Shrimp is something you don't want to overcook for sure!

  38. 38

    gloria — March 30, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

    Thank you for this delicous recepie. My husband and I love to go to this vietnames restaurant about an hour away from our home. That is where we first tried these shrimp and also he had avacado smoothies. I tired your recipie for the salt ans pepper shrimp and they were delicious. The only thing I need to do differently is buy bigger shrimp, cut more of the veggies and use a bigger pan. Other than that the shrimp was delicious and the avacado smoothes were great! Thank you!!!

  39. 39

    Ravenous Couple — March 30, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

    Gloria: So glad you and your husband enjoyed this! Using bigger shrimp will definitely make this a more impressive dish.

  40. 40

    Michelle — August 17, 2011 @ 6:45 am

    Made this yesterday. It was so good and easy (though, i didn’t use all of the salt/pepper/sugar mixture). Thanks a bunch!!!!

  41. 41

    Kate — February 10, 2013 @ 4:30 pm

    Well, I think I must be the lone dissenter here. We made this recipe this evening, and it was pretty bad – too much sugar, too much salt, too much pepper: so much seasoning that we really couldn’t enjoy the delicate fresher flavours of scallions, garlic or shrimp.

    Oh well; lovely blog otherwise, guys, and I’ll be back to try your other recipes, for sure. 🙂

  42. 42

    The Ravenous Couple — February 15, 2013 @ 9:54 am

    sorry to hear it didn’t work out 🙁

  43. 43

    Kate — February 15, 2013 @ 10:06 am

    Hey, no worries – I think it might just have been a taste I’m not used to. Thanks for replying 🙂

  44. 44

    MerryB — June 11, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

    Your recipes look really good! Thank you for posting them and their pictures. I know nothing about cooking and eating shrimp, so how does one eat these tom rang muoi, please? Would it ruin the dish if the shrimp have been beheaded by the grocer before being placed on sale?

  45. 45

    The Ravenous Couple — June 12, 2013 @ 8:40 am

    nope, headless is fine!

  46. 46

    thatguy — May 19, 2014 @ 4:37 pm

    I love your recipe and have made it countless times. Judging by the number of responses others do to… Thanks

  47. 47

    Dawn — August 24, 2016 @ 1:17 pm

    I tried this recipe for the first time and it turned out fantastic!!! It was so simple but yet the tastes were very complex. I will do this again and again. Thanks

  48. 48

    Dawn — August 24, 2016 @ 1:19 pm

    I simply love Asian cuisine and this is my go to site for easy, simple,and delicious recipes!Thanks

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