Posts Tagged With: interstellar

Vietnamese Sugar Cane Shrimp (Chao Tom)

Vietnamese Appetizer

(Chao Tom)


1 pound medium shrimp, frozen, peeled and deveined (41-to-50 count)
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 garlic clove
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon white pepper or pepper
1 egg white
2 teaspoons corn starch
½ teaspoon vegetable oil
8 4″-sugar cane sticks (fresh or canned) *

* = I suggest using canned sugar as fresh sugar cane needs to be peeled and cut into 4″ sticks. Canned sugar cane can be found in Asian supermarkets. Fresh sugar cane can be found there as well or online.


food processor
electric grill pan
no-stick spray

Serves 4. Takes 40 minutes. Allow for up to an extra hour if using fresh sugar cane. In this case, cut the sugar cane apart around the joints. Then use knives and cleavers to remove the hard outer shell of the can.


Add shrimp, fish sauce, garlic, salt, sugar, and white pepper to food processor. Blend until ingredients form a shrimp paste. Add egg white to mixing bowl. Whip egg white with whisk until frothy. Add shrimp paste and corn starch to egg white. Mix with whisk until shrimp is again well blended.

Preheat grill to medium high. Dip hands in vegetable oil. Take 1½ tablespoons shrimp paste and press it evenly around the middle of a sugar-cane stick. Leave ¾” sugar-cane stick exposed at both ends. Brush shrimp paste on sticks lightly with oil to prevent sticking. Add shrimp-covered sticks to grill. Grill for 8 minutes or until shrimp paste is golden brown on all sides. Turn gently, at least every 2 minutes, Bite into the sugar cane a bit as you eat the shrimp. This will add sugar juice to your bite.


1) Wherever the well loved Chef Tomasso went, everyone said, “Ciao, Tomasso.” Then one day he left his hometown of Padua in search of some squid ink for his next meal. He should have gone to Venice. Instead ended up in Hanoi as he was way too proud to ask for directions. Fortunately, the locals took him in. In gratitude, Tom, as he is now called, created this dish. Now, the Vietnamese greet him with “Chao, Tom” in honor of his cooking style .

2) Then, alas, tragedy struck.

3) Chef Tomasso fell off the edge of the edge of the Earth on July 1, 2018.

4) Apparently, he walked farther than normal and got lost.

5) He again refused to asked for directions and so, fell off the edge of the Earth.

6) Let this be a cautionary tale for all men.

7) This demise demised dumbfound all the physicists, who thought the Earth’s gravitational field would surely keep the good chef securely on terra firma.

8) Okay, the previous tidbit contained some ambiguity. It would be perfectly logical to wonder if, at some point, the physicists lost their dumfoundedness after Tomasso’s plunge into the interstellar abyss.

9) Let me clear up this confusion. These learned scientists remain perplexed by Tomasso’s misfortune.

10) It is amusing thought to think that Chef Tomasso truly lived life on the edge.

11) And if the word “dumfoundedness” from tidbit 8) is not a word, it ought to be.

12) Write your Miriam Webster and Oxford English Dictionary editors and ask them to include “dumbfoundedness” in their next editions. Thank you.

13) Tomasso’s great fall, shown on the 10 o’clock news, also flummoxed cartographers who, pretty much unanimously, agreed that our Earth is round like the globe in your fifth-grade classroom.

14) Meanwhile, maritime insurance rates have soared. If Tomasso, through no fault of his own, happened upon a spot that was the edge of the Earth, who’s to say that a freighter carrying wheat or a tanker bringing oil couldn’t fall off the edge of the Earth as well?

15) Can you imagine the following conversation?
Shipping CEO: Sorry, but your wheat will be a little late. Our freighter went over the Earth’s edge.
Food Importer CEO: Yeah sure, like I haven’t heard that one before.

16) As of yet, Chef Tomasso has not returned. His fate is still unlearned. I hope he will and that he’ll have a rattling good yarn to spin. In the meantime, watch your step.


– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Kosovan Dessert



1 large egg
1 cup plain yogurt
⅓ cup sparkling water.
1 tablespoon baking powder
3⅓ cups flour (2 more tablespoons later)
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups vegetable oil (or as needed to make a ⅓” deep layer of oil in pan)

Makes 48 pieces. Takes 1 hour 10 minutes.


Add egg to 1st mixing bowl. Beat egg with whisk. Add yogurt. Whisk until well blended. Add sparkling water and baking soda. Whisk again until well blended. Add 3½ cups flour, baking powder, and salt to large 2nd mixing bowl. Mix with whisk. Add egg/yogurt/baking soda mixture from 1st mixing bowl. Knead with hands until you have a well blended dough that doesn’t stick to your hands.. Add a little more dough if it does. Let dough sit for 30 minutes. Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons flour. Press flour with hands or rolling pin until dough is ⅓” thick. Cut dough into 1½” squares.

Add oil to skillet until it is ⅓” deep. Heat oil using medium-high heat until a tiny piece of dough will dance in the oil. Use spatula to carefully add as many dough squares to oil that will fit without them touching each other. Flip squares as soon as they start to brown. This will take from 25-to-40 seconds and depends greatly on the heat of the oil. (Also, cooking time tends to go down a little with each successive batch, so proper vigilance is a must.) Remove when both side have turned golden brown. Repeat for following batches. Place on paper towels to remove oil. Serve hot. Goes well with yogurt dip or confectioner’s sugar.


1) The interstellar space drive was developed in Kosovo right after it’s independence in 2008. Behar Krasniqi had an “ah ha” moment at breakfast and by late afternoon he’d designed a computer chip that would turn the 1967 VolkwagenTM into a mighty machine for traveling across the galaxies.

2) Krasniqi’s process required huge amounts of plums as fuel. So much so that weight had to be cut elsewhere. Fortunately, the Kosovan Space Agency (KSA) knows how to shrink its astronauts until they are three inches tall. Llokuma served both as pillows and as food. Unfortunately, on March 4, 1999, Behar’s wife, Adriana left the office window open. A wintry gust blew the computer chip off its shelf. It chip was never found. We’re not going to the stars soon. Bummer.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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