Vietnamese Sautéed Corn with Dried Shrimps (Bap Xao)

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Vietnamese Sautéed Corn with Dried Shrimps (Bap Xao) is a fun street food snack in Saigon. Each bite is filled with sweetness from corn, slight saltiness from dried shrimps and richness from butter.

Vietnamese Sautéed Corn with Dried Shrimps (Bap Xao) is a fun street food snack in Saigon. A yummy spoon of corn sautéed in butter with dried shrimps and scallions.

Made from humble ingredients, Bap Xao surprises me with how tasty it is. The corn kernels are so sweet, plump, crisp and juicy. They are briefly sautéed with butter to give you a smooth and rich mouthfeel. Then come the dried shrimps with an umami and savory taste to balance the sweetness.

Related: this Vietnamese grilled corn with scallion oil (bap nuong mo hanh) is another popular street food snack in Saigon.

Ingredients

To make Bap Xao, you will need fresh corn on the cobs, dried shrimps, butter and scallions.

For the best result, choose fresh corn on the cobs with even and plump kernels. I like to use sweet corn for its sweetness and juiciness. I heard it is also possible to use hominy in this dish.

Dried shrimps (“tom kho” in Vietnamese) are shrimps that have been sun-dried and shrunk to a much smaller size. They are often added to stock to impart a unique umami flavor (such as in my bun thang recipe) or used in snack dishes.

You can find dried shrimps at Asian grocery stores. I often store them in the refrigerator or freezer to preserve the quality.

Dried shrimps (left) and reconstituted dried shrimps (right)
Dried shrimps (left) and reconstituted dried shrimps (right)

I’ve seen some recipes just throw in the dried shrimps with the corn directly. However, I don’t think that’s a good approach because the shrimps will still be hard and chewy in the final dish.

We need to soak the dried shrimps in water to reconstitute and soften them, then lightly pound (or roughly chop) them. That way, the texture will be more pleasant and their umami flavor will also blend better with other ingredients in the dish.

Substitution for Dried Shrimps

If you don’t have dried shrimps on hand or cannot find it, I think you can use fresh shrimps. Chop them into small pieces and dry roast in your skillet to reduce water content and concentrate the flavors. Then use the toasted shrimp pieces to substitute for dried shrimps in this dish.

How to Make Vietnamese Sautéed Corn with Dried Shrimps

It is very quick and easy to make Vietnamese Sweet Corn with Dried Shrimps. You should have all ingredients ready before turning on the stove.

Making Vietnamese Butter Sweet Corn with Dried Shrimps (Bap Xao) step-by-step photo

First, reconstituted dried shrimps will be briefly sautéed and seasoned with fish sauce to enhance the flavors. After that, we will toss sweet corn with butter and then stir fry corn, shrimps, and scallion together until flavors are combined. That’s it.

You can enjoy Bap Xao as a snack or a side dish/appetizer. Some people like to sprinkle crispy fried shallots or drizzle some sriracha on top when serving. Please feel free to add these toppings if you want. Detailed measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.

A plate of Sweet corn sautéed in butter with dried shrimps and scallions. Vietnamese Sautéed Corn with Dried Shrimps (Bap Xao) is a popular street food snack in Saigon.

More Recipes with Sweet Corn

I’d love to hear what you think about this dish, so please feel free to leave a comment. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.

Vietnamese Butter Sweet Corn with Dried Shrimps (Bap Xao)

Vietnamese Sautéed Corn with Dried Shrimps (Bap Xao)

Vietnamese Sautéed Corn with Dried Shrimps (Bap Xao) is a fun street food snack in Saigon. Each bite is filled with sweetness from corn, slight saltiness from dried shrimps and richness from butter.
Author: Sophie
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Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients
 

  • 1/4 cup dried shrimp
  • 2 ears of sweet corn
  • 3-4 stalks of scallions
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Place dried shrimps in a bowl and add enough water to cover the shrimps. Soak them until soft to the touch (about 20 minutes or more depending on your dried shrimps).
  • While soaking the shrimps, separate corn kernels from the cobs and discard the cobs. Slice scallion thinly and keep the white part separated from the green part.
  • When the dried shrimps have been reconstituted and softened, pound them lightly or roughly chop into smaller pieces.
    Lightly pound reconstituted dried shrimps into smaller pieces
  • Place a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. When the oil is hot, add dried shrimps pieces and sauté briefly. Once the shrimps are heated through, add a teaspoon of fish sauce (or to taste), mix to combine and then transfer to a clean plate.
  • To the same skillet, add a tablespoon of butter. Once butter has melted, add the white part of scallion and cook for a few seconds until fragrant. Add corn kernels and 1/4 teaspoon of salt (to taste) and sauté for a couple of minutes or until corn kernels are fully cooked.
    Saute corn kernels in butter
  • Add dried shrimps back to the pan and add the green part of scallions. Stir fry everything briefly together until flavors are combined. Taste and adjust seasoning to your likings. Transfer to serving plates and serve hot.

Notes

When soaking dried shrimps, use room temperature water/tap water if you have time. If you are in a hurry, use warm water to shorten the soaking time. Do not use hot/boiling water because hot water will extract too much flavor out of the shrimps.
If you cannot find dried shrimps, I think you can use fresh shrimps. Chop them into small pieces and dry roast in your skillet to reduce water content and concentrate the flavors. Season with fish sauce to taste. Then proceed to use the toasted shrimp pieces to substitute for dried shrimps in this dish.
You can enjoy Bap Xao as a snack or a side dish/appetizer. Some people like to sprinkle some crispy fried shallots or drizzle some sriracha on top when serving. Please feel free to add these toppings if you want.

Nutrition

Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 176mg | Sodium: 817mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 261IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizers and Side dishes
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: bap xao, corn and dried shrimp
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