I have been eating prawn fritters since I was a kid. My aunts would bring me to the hawker centres when I was little and I would stand at the stalls watching the hawkers cook. The old lady frying prawn fritters fascinated me to no end because it was amazing how fast she was able to dip the prawns in the batter and get the fritters into the oil and each and every one of the fritters would be perfectly shaped.
My goodness! Getting the prawn to sit prettily on the batter was NOT easy at all.
In fact, there was a lot of splashing and hissing from the oil, then the batter would not leave my ladle without a fight. I got splashed on, and I got burnt.
The fritters I made were delicious. I mean, even though most came out not very pretty, they tasted good. The fritters were by no means ugly, but I really wanted to have my prawns sitting prettily on top of the fritters. I think my biggest mistake (yes, there were many learning points from this experiment) was using prawns that were way too big. The smaller prawns would have worked much, much better.
The second mistake I made was not heating my ladle properly and not using a metal ladle in the beginning. I was too eager and starting frying too soon. What happened was the batter sticking onto the cold ladle. Hence, the splashing and hissing as I was trying to pry the batter off the ladle.
Thirdly, it pays to coat the ladle well with hot oil. This would have made it much easier for the batter to slip into the oil.
So if you are still game to make this, you would be rewarded with really super yummy prawn fritters.
It is worth the effort.
Just don't make the mistakes I did.
I started by removing the feelers and legs from the prawns. Then I blanched the prawns for 30 seconds in salted boiling water. The prawns were dried with some kitchen towels and set aside.
I sliced the chilli, finely chopped ginger and chopped spring onion as well as rehydrated shitake mushrooms.
In a bowl, I combined plain flour, baking powder and half of the water. The batter was set aside to rest for 15 minutes before I stirred in the rest of the water as well as the oil. After mixing, I rested the batter for 5 more minutes.
I added all the ingredients (except the prawns) as well as the seasonings into the batter and stirred to mix.
This was where mistakes were made. Firstly, you need to heat your oil and your metal ladle. Only when both are hot do you scoop some batter and place the prawn on the batter. (Ignore the ladle used in this picture.)
Carefully slide the batter and prawn into the oil. Work rather quickly so you do not get splashed on. Then fry both sides of the fritters until they have turned golden brown.
The fritters were drained on kitchen towels then all that was left to do was to eat them.
They were so yummy!!
I am making these babies again.
With a metal ladle.
And hot, hot oil.
Deep-Fried Prawn Fritters - Cucur Udang (Makes 6)
Loosely adapted from "Old Hokkien Delights" by Tan Yong Hua
6 pieces fresh prawn
2 slices young ginger, finely chopped
1/2 red chilli, sliced
2 pieces Chinese mushroom, rehydrated and chopped
30g spring onion, chopped
For the Batter:
1 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon corn flour
A dash of white pepper
1. Blanch prawns for about 30 seconds in salted boiling water. Drain and pat dry with kitchen towels. Set aside.
2. Mix plain flour and baking powder with half the water. Stir and rest for 15 minutes. Add remaining water and oil. Mix and rest a further 5 minutes.
3. Add all ingredients (except prawns) and seasonings to batter. Mix.
4. Heat oil and ladle. Place batter on ladle, and prawn on top.
5. Gently slide batter and prawn into oil. Fry both sides until golden brown.
6. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.
I am submitting this recipe for Cook-Your-Books hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours.