We’re all familiar with cucur udang, but what does it take to make them really, really good? Well, we’ve got a recipe for prawn fritters that’ll blow your mind from the very first bite.
Typically served as a tea time snack at home, prawn fritters can also be found at food stalls and the occasional Malay restaurant. The quality often varies, however. Most store-bought cucur udang tends to be on the ‘doughy’ side with minimal vegetables and not all that crunchy. Not to mention they tend to get soggy after the trip home.
In the home kitchen, on the other hand, everyone’s got a twist to the recipe to make it their own. But the aim is always the same – crispy on the outside and moist on the inside truly makes for prawn fritter perfection. The Bait Badawi cucur udang is legendary and often requested by regular guests. It’s so good we had to invade their kitchen to learn how to make their highly sought-after comfort snack. We’ve got it measured out and written down so you can try making it at home too.
- 240g cabbage
- 47g carrots
- 10g (1) red chili
- 80g (1/2) yellow onion
- 8g Chinese celery
- 17g spring onions
- 57g (5) prawns, peeled
- 5g (1/2 tsp) salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
- 230g flour
- 28g corn flour
- 14g (2 cloves) garlic, peeled
- 6g (2) candlenuts
- 14g (4) shallots, peeled
- 50ml water
- 14g (1 cube) MSG-free chicken stock diluted with 105g water
- cooking oil
For the sauce:
- 50g calamansi lime (calamondin), juice only
- 14g calamansi lime rind
- 13g garlic, peeled
- 67g red chilies
- 8g sugar
- 3g salt
- 370g Thai sweet chili sauce
Making the batter
- Slice cabbage, carrots, red chili, yellow onion, Chinese celery and spring onions very thinly, about 1mm.
- Cut peeled and deveined prawns into four.
- Blend shallots, garlic, candlenuts and water until fine.
- In a large bowl, add sliced cabbage, carrots, red chili, yellow onion, Chinese celery and spring onions.
- Add pepper, salt and turmeric powder.
- Add flour and corn flour.
- Next, add the blended shallot and candlenut mixture, followed by diluted chicken stock.
- Mix ingredients thoroughly with your hands.
- Add prawns and mix to distribute evenly into the batter.
Frying prawn fritters
- Heat 3cm cooking oil in a deep skillet on high heat until it reaches a deep frying temperature of about 160°C.
- Use a small ladle – about 2-3 tbsp in size – to scoop out the batter, then plop the batter directly into the hot oil. Try and get at least one piece of prawn into each scoop.
- After a few seconds, add another scoop of batter and so on, filling your skillet with however many scoops of batter fits. Don’t forget to leave a little bit of space between each so the batter doesn’t stick to each other as it fries.
- Prawn fritters are cooked when the entire surface has crisped up and parts of the vegetable have caramelized. This takes a bit of time, about 9 to 10 minutes depending on how big your fritters are.
- Place cooked prawn fritters on a rack or plate lined with kitchen towels to remove excess oil.
- The fritters are perfectly cooked when the outside is crispy but the inside is still a little moist.
- Serve prawn fritters while still hot, accompanied with a bowl of chili sauce.
Making the sauce
- After squeezing out the calamansi lime juice, slice the leftover rind very thinly, about 1mm or smaller.
- Cut chili and garlic into large chunks.
- Blend chili, garlic, lime juice, sugar and salt until fine.
- Mix blended chilies, lime rinds and Thai sweet chili sauce and stir to combine.
- If you’d like a little more prawn in your fritters, feel free to double up the quantity. You don’t need to double up any of the other ingredients.
- You can serve your fritters with regular or Thai sweet chili sauce if you’re pressed for time, but our recipe above will take it to the next level!
Will this become a popular snack in your household? Tell us how your prawn fritters turned out by hashtagging your pictures with #butterkicap.