Adapted from "Vietnamese Home Cooking," by Charles Phan.
This recipe will work without shrimp heads, but Phan says the heads add richness to the sauce. The recipe also calls for homemade roasted chile paste (there's a recipe in the book), but if you buy it look for jars labeled chile-bean or saté paste, preferably without preservatives. Phan adds that in a pinch you can make the recipe without the chile paste. Serve with steamed white rice.
From Breakfast For Dinner
The ice will need to soak in the fridge for 6 to 8 hours before preparing.
*Sold as Sho-Chiku-Bai sweet rice, or sometimes just called sweet rice, white sticky rice can be found at specialty grocers and Asian food stores. You can use sushi rice instead, though it may need more liquid and a slightly longer cooking time.
**Regular soy sauce won’t work here; it makes the reduction too salty.
From Breakfast For Dinner. The authors note: brown jasmine rice is our favorite for this recipe; its long grains and outer hull (something that white jasmine rice lacks) give it the perfect texture for frying. If substituting white jasmine rice, follow the cooking directions on the package, but use slightly less water and cook it until it’s just barely done.