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Crafting Vietnamese Shrimp Shell Fry – Tep Rang: A Comprehensive Guide

What is Shrimp Shell Fry? 

Shrimp shell fry, also known as Tep Rang, is a popular delicacy among the Vietnamese. It consists of shrimp shells which are deep fried in oil and then seasoned with various spices and herbs to give it flavor. This dish is very popular in Vietnam and can be found on many menus across the country.

Often, Vietnamese people describe this dish as both enticing and hearty, which makes it a staple during the leaner end-of-the-month days. However, in terms of taste and nutrition, it does not fall short of any other dish. The rich flavors derived from the spices and the essential nutrients obtained from the shrimp shells make Tep Rang not just a budget-friendly meal but also a nourishing one.

Tep Rang has a unique taste that is both savory and slightly sweet. The preparation process of this dish requires a lot of skill and patience as each shrimp shell must be carefully prepared before being fried. This recipe will guide you through the entire process so that you can make the perfect Tep Rang in your own kitchen.


  • 200 shrimp shells
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • Scallion greens (for garnish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice 
  • 2 tablespoons of ground black pepper (optional)


Preparing the Shrimp Shells 

Shrimp shells can be found in Asian supermarkets, often in a dried and packaged form. They may resemble baby shrimps in appearance, but the taste will surely surprise you. 

Once you’ve acquired the shrimp shells, they need to be thoroughly cleaned. Start by soaking the shells in a large bowl of water. The shrimp shells will float to the top while any impurities such as sand or small stones will sink to the bottom. Carefully scoop up and remove the shrimp shells from the water, leaving the impurities behind. Repeat this process 2-3 times to ensure all the shells are clean and ready for cooking.

Frying the Shrimp Shells

Heat a frying pan over medium heat, adding the cooking oil. 

Once the oil is hot, add the minced garlic, sautéing until it becomes fragrant. Then, add the shrimp shells, stir-frying them evenly. 

Next, add the salt, sugar, and fish sauce as per the quantity mentioned above, or adjust to your own preference. Ensure that you mix everything well so that the shrimp shells are evenly coated with the seasonings. 

As the shrimp shells shrink and the aroma fills your kitchen, it’s time to turn off the heat. Add in the ground black pepper and the chopped scallion greens, stirring everything together to evenly distribute the flavors. 

Finally, add approximately 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice to the pan, stirring well to evenly distribute the flavors. This will add a tangy note to your Tep Rang, balancing out the savory elements and enhancing the overall taste. 

Your Tep Rang is now ready to be served! 

Serving ideas with Tep Rang

Tep Rang pairs perfectly with hot steamed rice and doesn’t necessarily need any accompaniments. Just mix the Tep Rang with a bowl of warm rice, and the result is a satisfying dish. If you have a bowl of soup on the side to sip on, the meal becomes even more delightful.

Tep Rang is a versatile dish and can be paired with various other stir-fried dishes for a more substantial meal. For instance, you could combine Tep Rang with stir-fried noodles or glass noodles for a more flavorful and textured dish. It can also be added to fried rice to enhance its taste and provide a unique twist. In all these combinations, do remember to season the dishes according to your preference to ensure a balanced and appetizing meal.


Tep Rang is a popular Vietnamese delicacy that is savory, slightly sweet, and packed with flavor. It’s an easy-to-make dish that can be prepared in just a few steps. With the right ingredients and careful preparation, you can make this delicious dish in your own kitchen. Try it out today to get the full experience of this delectable dish! Enjoy!