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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bong Bi Nhoi Tom Chien (Vietnamese Shrimp-Stuffed Deep-fried Squash Blossoms)

Bong Bi Nhoi Tom Chien (Vietnamese Shrimp-Stuffed Deep-fried Squash Blossoms) 1

I was hanging out at my youngest uncle's house while he was puttering around in his garden. Lucky me because he was picking squash blossoms and decided to give me the whole batch. As you can see, it filled my large colander. I had so many blossoms I ended up preparing them in three ways.

Squash blossoms should be picked in the morning, or else they'll wilt on the vine by afternoon. You might be able to find some at your local farmers' market. Store them in the fridge if you're not going to cook them immediately. They should be cooked within a few days since the blossoms are delicate and don't store well.

Remove the green stamens from the center. Then gently rinse the inside to remove any bugs, and soak in a bowl of water. Gently shake dry but leave the blossoms a bit wet. Some of the recipes I've seen have them stuffed with cheese. I'm not much of a cheese eater and I'd rather give these delicate blooms a Vietnamese twist so here's my version.

Bong Bi Nhoi Tom Chien (Vietnamese Shrimp-Stuffed Deep-fried Squash Blossoms) 2

Bong Bi Nhoi Tom Chien (Vietnamese Shrimp-Stuffed Fried Squash Blossoms)

You'll need:
As many squash blossoms as you want to eat
About 2 shrimp per squash blossom
A clove of garlic or two
A dash of Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)
A dash of salt
A dash of sugar

Peel the shrimp and mince finely. I only had about a dozen shrimp left in the freezer, so for that amount, I added 1 garlic clove and literally a tiny dash each of fish sauce, salt, and sugar. I wanted to keep the shrimp taste as natural as possible so that it didn't overpower the squash blossom.

With a pair of chopsticks, gently stuff each squash blossom like so.

Bong Bi Nhoi Tom Chien (Vietnamese Shrimp-Stuffed Deep-fried Squash Blossoms) 3

I managed to stuff 7 blossoms. Don't worry if the ends aren't completely closed, that'll happen when they get fried. Oh yeah, add oil to your wok or frying pan and turn the heat to medium to warm up.

Bong Bi Nhoi Tom Chien (Vietnamese Shrimp-Stuffed Deep-fried Squash Blossoms) 4

You know how much I love my kitchen stuff. Have I shown you my wok? It's 16 inches in diameter. Wonderful for frying because the wide rim keeps the oil from splattering all over my kitchen. If you don't own one, you really must. A wok is incredibly versatile. Mine was bought for $10 at A Chau in Fountain Valley but you can find them for about that much at most Asian grocery stores. And my brass strainer? It's 10 inches in diameter. I bought it from a restaurant supply store for $5. It'll come in real handy in a minute.

Bong Bi Nhoi Tom Chien (Vietnamese Shrimp-Stuffed Deep-fried Squash Blossoms) 5

Lightly dust the squash blossoms with flour. Leaving the blossoms a bit wet helps the flour cling better. See how they all fit on my large strainer?

Bong Bi Nhoi Tom Chien (Vietnamese Shrimp-Stuffed Deep-fried Squash Blossoms) 6

I just leave the strainer in my wok to fry.

Bong Bi Nhoi Tom Chien (Vietnamese Shrimp-Stuffed Deep-fried Squash Blossoms) 7

Then lift the whole thing out when the shrimp turns pink. Squash blossoms still intact and I didn't have to fish for them in the oil.

Bong Bi Nhoi Tom Chien (Vietnamese Shrimp-Stuffed Deep-fried Squash Blossoms) 8

Serve immediately. The squash blossoms had such a nice green, summery taste. The flower parts were slightly crispy. The thicker green parts were moist and juicy. Eat them plain or dipped in sweetened Nuoc Mam Cham (Vietnamese Fish Dipping Sauce).

I brought them over to my youngest uncle (since he did give me the squash blossoms and all) and he was suitably impressed. He normally just blanches them and dips them with fish sauce, he said. Since I had such a big batch, I cooked squash blossoms in two other ways but we'll get to that in later posts.


My squash blossoms recipes:
Crostinis with Arugula Pesto, Bruschetta al Pomodoro, and Squash Blossom Ricotta
Deep-fried Squash Blossoms
Deep-fried Squash Blossoms Stuffed with Basil and Cottage Cheese
Ravioli with Basil, Squash Blossoms, and Ricotta
Sauteed Squash Blossoms
Squash Blossom Omelet
Squash Blossom and Prosciutto Pizza
Squash Blossom Quesadilla


  1. Dude, that is the idea of the day! I've been seeing squash blossoms at this little farm stand near me and I always wonder what I'd do with them if I bought them. Now I know.

  2. WHAT A LOVELY LOOKING IDEA! I've never tried squash blossom, but they look wonderful.

  3. The squash blossoms looked so lovely! I haven't seen any around here, but I can't wait to get my hands on them. Yummy!!!

  4. what a brilliant idea. looks so yummy and crispy.

  5. this is a great idea! I deep-fried zucchini blossoms the other day and i stuffed them with ricotta and maple syrup.

  6. Yummm!!! That looks sooo good. I've never had zucchini blossoms before. I wish stores carried them so I could try this recipe out :)

  7. Absolutely beautiful! I discovered squash blossoms this spring and I am totally addicted. Not only are they amazing to eat, but they are amazing to look at. a treat all around.


  8. That's great! The photos are really informative, thanks for the information. Now if I could only get my hands on squash blossoms ...

  9. Marvin,
    Yup! I'm so clever. ;)

    Try growing some squash on the side of your house and you'll have plenty of blossoms to cook with. :)

    Thanks! And thanks for visiting my blog.

    I was surprised they were so crispy. Who knew?

    Ricotta and maple syrup? As a dessert? I was thinking of ricotta and serving them on a bed of pasta with red sauce.

    They're too delicate to really sit on store shelves.

    Almost Vegetarian,
    Cooking with squash blossoms are so unusual aren't they?

    I do try to make my cooking posts easy to follow.

  10. Shrimp stuffing, oh that sounds so good! Would this work with a tempura batter also? I need to plant these next year and buy a deep fryer or thermometer so I can fry at home!

  11. What a treat for you to get such a bounty?! And what a treat for us that you described the process with words and photos. Great trick with the brass strainer. I don't know if you ever cook Mexican food, but squash blossoms are awesome with caramelized onions in a quesadilla. Delish!

  12. I love squash blossoms. I love shrimp. I love fried things. Bring em all together and we've got trouble!

  13. Amy,
    I imagine you could. The ricotta-stuffed recipes I saw had a thicker batter. I preferred a light one so it wouldn't overpower the delicate petals.

    That's an awesome idea! I wanna try that next time but I think the squash blossom bounty is pretty much over.

    You're welcome anytime. :)

  14. This looks awesome. When is the season for squash blossom?

  15. TST,
    Late spring to summer when things start blooming again.


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