When butter cereal prawns arrived onto the Singapore food scene, it was all the rage! Fresh King prawns are seared and flash fried in hot oil till just cooked through, then tossed in a crisp bed of butter-coated, toasted cereal infused with the flavours of fried curry leaves and bits of spicy, tongue-tingling bird’s eye chilli. Asian-infused flavours with universal gastronomic appeal!
Believe it or not, everything in this dish, including the curry leaves and chilli, if you can get past the tongue-burning assault on your taste buds, is edible, save for the prawn shells. While you might be tempted to omit the chilli, I highly recommend that you include it as per the recipe, as it adds that all important ‘zing’ to the overall flavour.
The great thing is that it is quite easy to create this dish in your own kitchen. To have this dish turn out well, yielding tender, juicy, deep-fried prawns, do use the freshest possible prawns, and have your frying oil heated till very hot, literally smoking hot, before you tip the prawns into the wok. Then flash fry quickly for about 20 seconds, or even less – just long enough for the hot oil to cook through. Do not overcook, otherwise, the flesh will be tough and chewy.
This recipe serves 4 to 6 persons.
BUTTER CEREAL PRAWNS RECIPE
500 gm fresh large Prawns
1 Sprig Curry Leaves, washed and patted dry
2 Bird’s Eye Chilli, sliced
4 tbsp Cereal (Nestum brand)
4 Egg Yolks
5 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp Evaporated Milk
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Chicken Seasoning Powder
Oil for deep frying
1. Trim legs and whiskers, and cut a slit along the back of the prawns. De-vein and wash thoroughly. Pat dry. Add a sprinkling of salt, lightly toss and set aside.
2. Fill a wok 1/4 full with oil. Heat over high heat till just smoking hot. Deep fry the prawns for about 30 seconds, or less, till just cooked through. Do be careful not to overcook the prawns. Dish out and drain on paper towels. Wash the wok clean and dry.
3. Meanwhile, mix cereal with seasonings, and stir well. Mix egg yolks with evaporated milk, and stir well.
4. Place butter in the wok and heat up over low heat. When butter has melted and begins to bubble, slowly pour in the egg yolk mixture and keep stirring until the mixture resembles fine threads. Add the curry leaves and cut chilli, continue to stir-fry over low heat. Add the cereal mixture (the cereal will absorb the butter and moisture from the curry leaves), and continue to fry till cereal is crisp and light. Add the prawns and toss to coat well. Dish out onto a serving plate and serve immediately.