Tag Archives: Prawns

Sambal Terasi Udang – Spicy Shrimp Sauce Prawns Recipe

Nowadays I rarely cook prawns because I have developed allergic reaction to shellfish and nuts. They are not life threatening, but still, I would rather not deal with them. If I just eat a spoonful and remember to quickly pop some Claritin, I will be fine. That said, my hubby is missing this sambal terasi udang – spicy shrimp sauce prawns very much and has been begging me to prepare it for him. So I hope you guys are going to enjoy it as much as he does. Though I really really wish I can eat the whole thing, I know I need to exercise extreme self restrain or else.

Sambal Terasi Udang – Spicy Shrimp Sauce Prawns

Double shrimp treatment

What is so great about this dish is the double use of shrimps/prawns, which makes this a super shrimpy dish. We have a pound of fresh fairly large prawns (I use the ~30 pieces/pound prawns). Then, the sauce has terasi in it, which is basically a block of fermented shrimp. You should be able to buy them from your Asian market. They are either imported from Malaysia in which case they are called belacan, or from Thailand which to be honest I have no idea what they are called. Either way, use the same amount as the recipe, and please remember to toast first with your frying pan. If you want a super duper simple way, you can just microwave for 1 minute.

Sambal Terasi Udang - Spicy Shrimp Sauce Prawns

Sambal Terasi Udang – Spicy Shrimp Sauce Prawns

Crack open your windows

Terasi is great, it’s like fish sauce but super extreme concentrated. Unfortunately, it does have quite a strong odor. To uninitiated, this can even be offensive. If you are a first timer, be sure to crack open your windows AND if you have hood, turn it on. I promise that despite the crazy smell, the dish is sure to turn out beautiful in the end.

Sambal Terasi Udang - Spicy Shrimp Sauce Prawns

Sambal Terasi Udang – Spicy Shrimp Sauce Prawns

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Oatmeal Cereal Butter Prawns Recipe

When I was still living in Indonesia, there is always a big family gathering from my husband’s side of the family for the big Chinese New Year Eve dinner feast, and cereal butter prawns is a dish that appears every year without fail. Since Chinese New Year is coming up, I am recreating this beloved family dish with what I can find easily in the United States using oatmeals.

Oatmeal Cereal Butter Prawns

Crispy oatmeal topping, definitely not soggy!

In Asia, if you want to make the cereal portion of this dish, you start by buying Nestum cereal. If you try really hard, you may spot Nestum cereal in some random supermarket in the United States. But let’s just say it is not something easy to find compared to oatmeals, which leads me to creating this recipe.

First things first, don’t just simply substitute nestum cereal with oatmeals. It is not going to be delicious since you end up with soggy toppings! But after a bit of tinkering, I am proud to say that this version of oatmeals topping works!

It’s crispy and most definitely not soggy. If you need some cereal butter prawns in your life and there is no Nestum cereal around, this recipe is definitely going to make you very happy. Plus, oatmeals are way healthier than Nestum cereal. 😀

Oatmeal Cereal Butter Prawns

Oatmeal Cereal Butter Prawns

Let’s bake up some crispy oatmeal topping

The trick to create this crispy oatmeal topping is by baking. You will need:

  • 1 cup of old fashioned oatmeals,
  • mix with 3 tablespoon of melted butter, and
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.

Spread evenly in a baking sheet (I use a half-sheet pan), and bake in preheated oven of 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) for 10 minutes, stirring half way. Once it has finished baking, remove the oatmeals from the oven and set aside to cool, then add:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon milk powder

Stir so everything is evenly mixed. And we have our lovely and delicious crispy oatmeal topping.

This topping is so good I have to stop myself from “testing”. I could have finished the whole thing myself and won’t have any left to make the cereal butter prawns! Next time, bake two batches, and eat one batch as snack. Incidentally, these are great with yogurt and ice cream too! 😍

Oatmeal Cereal Butter Prawns

Oatmeal Cereal Butter Prawns

Curry leaves

The next key ingredient for making cereal butter prawns is some fresh curry leaves. This is not something you find easily in your regular grocery store. Even my regular Asian market doesn’t have this since it mainly sells East and Southeast Asian ingredients. I had to visit a Middle Eastern/Indian market to find some fresh curry leaves. I notice that Amazon has some fresh curry leaves, so I guess there is always that option if you want to give it a try. Once you have everything, you are good to go. Here is a really zoomed-in shot to admire the crispy oatmeal topping. 😀

Oatmeal Cereal Butter Prawns

Oatmeal Cereal Butter Prawns

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Har Lok Cantonese Dry Fry Prawns Recipe

Both sets of my grandparents are Cantonese, so I grow up eating plenty of Chinese Cantonese dishes. For special occasions, we always have at least one seafood dish, and one of the most requested dish is this Cantonese dry fry prawns, a.k.a. Har Lok (干煎虾碌). This is such a quick and easy prawns dish to prepare, and the sweet and sour sauce is always a hit.

Ingredients to prepare har lok (Cantonese dry fry prawns).

Sweet and sour sauce for har lok (Cantonese dry fry prawns)

The sweet and sour sauce is very simple and using staple pantry sauces. You will need:

Har lok (Cantonese dry fry prawns).

Har lok (Cantonese dry fry prawns).

Choosing the correct prawns size to use

Depending on the occasions, you can use either jumbo size prawns, or medium size prawns for this dish:

  • For really special occasions, like Chinese New Year, it is best to use the biggest size prawns you can get. My Mom always get jumbo size prawns for Chinese New Year, which is about 15-25 prawns per kilogram.
  • For everyday occasions, it is okay to use medium size prawns (which is what I use in the photos), and it should be about 40-50 prawns per kilogram.
Har lok (Cantonese dry fry prawns).

Har lok (Cantonese dry fry prawns).

How to cook prawns so they stay crunchy

The biggest sin one can commit when preparing prawns/shrimps is overcooking. Anytime you cook prawns/shrimps, it is always best to undercook rather than overcook. Perfectly cooked prawns/shrimps will have crunchy texture, while overcooked ones will have chewy leathery texture, which is a big no no.

To prepare the perfect har lok, here are my tips:

  • When you fry the prawns in oil, be extra sure that the moment you see them turn orange, you should immediately remove from heat and transfer them to a plate.
  • When you return the fried shrimps to the pan to mix with the sauce, be sure to do this quickly. You should only need at most 30 seconds to toss the shrimps with the sauce. If for any reason you need more time than this, it is better to turn off the heat once the sauce boils, remove the pan/wok from heat source, then add the fried shrimps and toss.

I hope my recipe will lead you to perfectly crispy and crunchy prawns with delicious sweet and sour sauce.

Har lok (Cantonese dry fry prawns).

Har lok (Cantonese dry fry prawns).

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