Adventures in East Asia

Crunchy West Lake Shrimp Cakes

Our last stop on our tour of Hanoi and north Vietnam and before we headed to the airport for our flight back to Ho Chi Minh, was to a specialist restaurant to try out some West Lake Shrimp Cakes. The restaurant was right next to the lake (entrance on the other side of the road to the Tran Quoc Pagoda) and we were seated close to the edge. Magnificent spot on a hot, sunny day, but today was a little too cloudy and cool.


Shrimp Cake is apparently a speciality here and so we wanted to try some, even though we'd just had our grilled fish lunch an hour previously. We stressed that we only wanted a small dish to sample, but a large plate full of the cakes arrived, together with some lettuce to wrap them in and a light sauce containing some cut vegetables.


I was expecting cakes containing minced shrimps for some reason, but these were literally whole shrimps (or prawns judging from the size of them!) encased in batter and fried. The result was a very crunchy and greasy "cake", more akin to a fritter but savoury.

I'm not sure what it is about prawn and shrimps in Vietnam, but when served up as a dish, their shells are left on, expecting to be consumed too. I'm not too keen on this, and always end up picking out the shell pieces after munching on a couple of these cakes. West Lake Shrimp Cakes are probably meant to be eaten as part of a meal, but as a sample, together with the greasiness, both Linh and I left most of the plate uneaten.

More West Lake Shrimp Cake photos on Flickr

This entry posted in : Food. Tourism. Vietnam.

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