Crunch Time: Tackling Vietnam Soft-Shell Prawns

Vietnam soft shell shrimp (prawns).

Not to my liking but it keeps popping up, in Vung Tau, Nha Trang – across this fascinating country.

Steamed, grilled, sweet, fried. Not one to shy away from a challenge, by the end of this journey I will have acquired an appreciation, or, having given it my best shot, I shall withdraw with honour.

This night’s street-stall version is a big prawn, deep fried in peanut oil with a very tasty batter, and the prawn meat is firm and delicious.

A pity there’s a barrier of “crunchy” shell between the two.

Crunch, crunch, crunch …

Soft-shell prawns/shrimp are a culinary favourite in South-East Asia (and now world-wide) but that “crunchy” shell can be a challenge to even an adventurous diner.

Crunch Time When You Can’t Read the Menu

I wish I could read Vietnamese.

A prawn brunch: I order soft-shell prawns/shrimp fried in a caramelised garlic syrup.

Apologies to Chef but I can’t stand eating soft-shell anything.

Oh well, my fault, so I attack the prawns with alacrity and dexterity, and do my best to de-shell the sticky little critters – much to the amusement of the restaurant staff.

The meal is sweet and delicious; the hot, crunchy, “candied” tiny prawn legs have obvious appeal.

Travel is an adventure – and I only shelled out (yes, awful pun!) 186k dong/AUD$12

Vietnam brunch: soft shell prawns/shrimp fried in a caramelised garlic syrup