Thursday, 19 July 2012

Prawn Fritters (Kuih Udang)

Prawn fritters, another regular feature in kuih stands all over Malaysia, is perhaps not one of the more difficult kuih to make, but it does require a quick pair of hands and a dose of bravado when it comes to deep frying. Otherwise, it is a delicious tea time snack, for when you are feeling a little too indulgent to settle for anchovy fritters (cucur ikan bilis).

This kuih looks like a baseball sized fritter with a whole prawn stuck on one side (head and all), served smothered in homemade chilli sauce, although any bottled chilli sauce is a perfectly good substitute (I’ve also left the prawn heads off).

170 g plain flour
1 teaspoon dried yeast
1 desert spoon sugar
25 ml warm water
1 teaspoon baking powder
230 ml water
8 medium sized prawns, shelled and de-veined, but leave the tail on
2 tablespoon chopped Chinese chives. Alternately, you may use regular chives or spring onions.
1 cup of chopped bean sprouts
1-2 red chillies, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
A drop of yellow food colouring

Mix the yeast and sugar in warm water until they are dissolved and leave aside for 15 minutes. When the yeast mixture looks frothy, it is ready to be used.

Whisk in water into a bowl containing the flour and yeast mixture. Stir well, but gently to form a smooth batter without lumps. Mince two of the prawns; add it to the batter along with chives, chillies, bean sprouts and food colouring. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.

When tiny bubbles arise from the batter, season with a dash of pepper and salt and stir evenly. Heat up a deep pan of oil. When the oil is hot enough for frying*, scoop a ladle of batter, scrape off the excess at the bottom of the ladle, and place a whole prawn on top of the batter. Gently lower this ladle into the frying pan and allow the fritter to fry for a minute. Using a large metal spoon, separate the fritter from the ladle and cook the fritter on both sides until golden. Remove the cooked fritters and drain excess oil off with some kitchen roll. Repeat the process for the rest of the batter. This batch should make six fritters. Serve whole or quartered, with some chilli sauce for dipping.

To reduce the amount of oil in deep frying, it pays to use a small, deep pan.

* Test the oil with a drop of batter- if it starts frying immediately, the oil is hot enough for deep frying.

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