My sister not only brought back lobster and crab from her trip to PEI, she also brought back lobster paste. Lobster paste has always been a staple ingredient in my mom's pantry to add extra flavour from the sea. My mom would often use add it in different soups such as bún riêu, xúp bột bán (tapioca and crab soup) and xúp măng cua (asparagus & crab soup). As it has become harder to find, my mom has been using crab paste instead. However, she was very excited to use the lobster paste for tôm kho (braised shrimp).
Tôm kho is the ultimate accompaniment to rice because of the sauce. You can eat the shrimps and when you run out, just eat rice with the sauce. Sometimes, when my mom makes something sauce-y, she'll add rice to the pot and let it sop up the leftover sauce. It's extra, extra yummy!
Tôm Kho (Braised Shrimps)
1 lb. shrimps
1 tsp salt, or to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
1-2 garlic clove, minced
½ onion, chopped finely
½ can of lobster paste, about 1-2 oz
¼ cup water
2-½ tsp sugar
Generously season the shrimps with some of the salt and pepper and let marinate for 2-3 hours.
Heat up some oil in a small pot.
Add onion and garlic and cook until softened.
Add the shrimps and cook until they are cooked, about 5 minutes.
Add the lobster paste and water.
Add the remaining salt and sugar to taste.
Bring the sauce to a boil and turn back down.
Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning to taste.
If the sauce is too liquid, remove the shrimps and cook the sauce down (don't leave the shrimps or they will overcook).
Serve with lots of rice.
Acadian lobster paste and sautéeing the shrimps.
Perfect with a bowl of rice!
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