Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Prawn Crackers

One of the classic snacks in Malaysia. There are many flavors but prawn is the most favorite of all. My mother-in-law made the best Fish Crackers and how i wished i had learned from here. Now it is too late, recipe and know how are buried with her. God bless her soul.

Prawn Crackers


2 lbs peeled and deveined prawns

2 lbs tapioca starch

4 1/2 tsp salt

4 tsp sugar

2 tsp pepper

1 tsp msg (optional)

Use kitchen towel to dry the prawns.

Put prawn into food processor and process until it becomes a paste.

Add in salt, sugar, pepper and msg
Add in tapioca starch

Transfer to a big bowl and mix in all the tapioca starch until well combined

Transfer to the stand mixer and using the dough hook, knead mixture until very smooth

Roll paste in 1 1/2 inch logs which weighed 8 ozs each log and place in a greased plate.

Cover with a piece of foil which has been greased to prevent paste from sticking to it.
In a pressure cooker, put in 1 inch of water and place a stand to raise the plate above the water. Put the covered plate in and pressurized for 30 minutes.

Logs of prawn paste should be cooked through. Let them cool before wrapping in foil and leave in the freezer to harden, to fasilitate slicing.
Use a sharp knife and cut into very thin slices.
Put the slices in the food dehydrator and dry the slices. Friends in the tropics can sun dry the slices. Friends in Denver, you don't even need the dehydrator, just leave the slices on the cake rack and let it dry at room temp.
Heat enough oil for deep-frying. when oil is hot - 350 f - drop a few pieces of dried crackers and watch them expand. Dish out as soon as they have expanded. Do not overbrown them. Use a spider ladle to aid removing crackers from hot oil.


Anonymous said...

You are simply amazing! You even know how to make my favourite keropok snack! Thanks for sharing this recipe.


FATMUM said...

This is the 1st time i know how prawn crackers are made from scratch. You are a great cook and thanks for sharing so many of your recipes.


Claire said...

Hi Lily,

Your prawn crackers tasted awesome, just make sure you tell the readers to fry the crackers in hot oil...else they may think you can eat them after drying them...

Michelle said...

Wow. I didn't know you could even make this at home. Your cooking skills are SO amazing!! Where do you find your inspiration to pick the recipes? And...where do they come from?

lilyng said...


Thanks for letting me know about the frying. Have editted with frying instructions.

thanks, now you are appointed to be my editor.

lilyng said...


inspiration comes being 'wai sake' and from friends who want to eat comfort food from home.Recipes come from friends, books and the net.

eilis alana said...

lol OMG - my son loves these after having them in Ireland (of all places).

Maybe I will try these - it would be fun to be able to say I made them myself rather than using the ready to fry ones from the Asian market.

lilyng said...

ellis alana

These homemade ones are so good, you will never buy from the asian stores again.

WQ said...

Hi Lily,

Love your site - my friend recommended it when I was missing malaysian food.

I don't have a pressure cooker - can I just steam it in a wok?

Honey Bee Sweets said...

You are really great! I wonder what you don't know how to cook, haha. ;) Happy New Year to you!

Wendy Leow said...

You are really amazing!!! It's so great to find someone who would bother to do this and share your recipes!! Thanks so much - everytime I need a recipe for something especially traditional ones I go to your blog!! Thanks very much!!

lilyng said...


yes, a wok can be used for steaming. make sure the paste rolls are steamed through meaning totally cooked otherwise the crackers will not puff

ring-a-ding-a-ling said...

wow so much work for something we can get for 3RM haha
Here's wishing you and your family a Happy and healthy Ox Year! Really appreciate your blog and your help Auntie Lily!
Cheers, Ling

James said...

Hi there, jus wondering if you have any suggestions for an alternative to prawns/shrimp for a vegetarian recipe?
I'm thinking it NEEDS to be substituted with something as, in your recipe, it takes up nearly half the ingredients.
I'm thinking more of texture-wise than flavour.
I've had a large bag of the prawn chips from my local Asian food market which were great for cooking at home. But that was a while back now and me and My partner are now vegetarian.
Hope u can help, and thanx for sharing in the first place.

lilyng said...


i really don't know but these crackers can be made without the prawns/fish. The store bought ones are just flavored, so you could try adding onion/garlic powder, water, salt and sugar and add in the tapioca starch.

Perhaps corn, coconut, sesame seeds, indian spices like cummin, fennel, tomato puree or sundried tomato etc

give me a feedback if you should try making.

James said...

Thanx for the quick reply.
Jus to clarify what I meant was if there was anything I could use, apart from the prawns, to achieve the same dough consistency.
Obviously if i combine the starch, sugar, salt and pepper these things alone won't make a dough.
Any ideas?

lilyng said...


it will form into a dough by just adding water amd seasonings. the dough has to be kneaded until smooth and steamed until totally cooked. To achieve good crackers, the slicing has to be even and dried thoroughly. Use more oil for frying to get fluffy crackers

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

How long do we need to steam to make sure it is cook.

Kindly advise.

Thank you.


lilyng said...


Steaming time depends on the size of the roll you made and the efficiency of your steamer. It will take a while at least 2 hours. Cut one roll in half and if you don't see any more white and the roll has even opaque color, then you are done. Remember to replenish steamer with hot water now and then

Anonymous said...

Hi, Lily,
Yeah Again, i suscess again! yup, i try ur cracker recipes, but i'm using mackerel fish, its turn out just Great! my family love it very much, they kind of don believe i can make crackers,my brother thought i cheated him by buying at the supermarket ha ha! so, keep asking me to do it for CNY. besides, i also try using sweet potatoes at the same time it also good, but the constarch flour need to adjust coz potatoes is rather dry.
U are wonderful Lily!

Thanks & Best Regards,
Susan, Malaysia

mrfreeze said...

Hi, lily i have since wanted to make my own prawn crackers, but on a commercial scale like bagged chips, but i know real prawns/shrimps will cost me a fortune and raise the price per bag so i was wondering what flavouring is used by the ones we buy at the store and where i can get the flavouring in bulk. I am located in Nigeria. Or if you know any other way to create that flavour?

cheezysnax said...

Hi, I tried a vegetarian option using fetta cheese (blended with a little water until smooth) in the same weight ratio as the prawns. It looked like it was going to work, but come time to deep fry, the chips went crispy but didn't puff up. Not sure if you have ever experienced crackers that go nice and hard after drying but don't puff. Any thoughts?

lilyng said...


crackers do not puff? it could be the crackers are not dried enough for frying.

for this recipe of equal prawns and tapioca starch, the prawns have to be wiped dry before processing. so for the cheese i would suggest, try to drain as much liquid as possible, then add tapioca starch and knead to a dough, use more tapioca starch if you need to. like i have mentioned, crackers can be made with tapioca starch alone, prawns etc are added for flavoring.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lily for your wide range of receipes & expecially love the hints & tips which you provide.

Do you have the recipe to make popiah skin like those the popiah sellers use.

Soon it will be CNY so might want to have a popiah party. As I am staying in Melbourne, Australia unable to get the authentic popiah skin which is much nicer than the commercial ones being sold here.


Anonymous said...

wow!! what a nice blog i ever found with pleanty of delicious foods recipe!! You will be Bless by God for your kindliness to sharing all this with us...!!!!

ratu said...

gosh!! I like this!! suitable for rice co ..

Everybody Eats Well in Flanders said...

Oh my god, u even know how to make prawn cracker or keropok. Where did u learn that from? U are truly amazing, lily :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks,this is what i'm looking for. I used to try to made my own keropok but without luck.So always when i went back to Brunei i have to bring some over here.

Rosamundwo said...

I wanna ask can we replace tapioca flour with corn flour instead?

lilyng said...


cornflour should be fine. we use tapioca flour cos it is so much cheaper than cornflour

thida mon said...

Hi! Lily,

Thanks for sharing your recipes.

Can i check with you did you sell dried prawn cracker? I wonder where can i buy the dried prawn cracker?
so, I can keep and when i want to eat then i'll fry it my self.
I believe you have a lot of knowledge.
Please help me and God blessed you!

lily ng said...


i do not have a recipe for dried prawn cracker but you can make crackers of any flavor you wish eg fish or taro, or flavor of your choice which is dried prawns, make sure it is ground till very fine and just add it in to tapioca starch. Adjust the texture of dough with water and adjust the taste accordingly.

Shu Yi Wu said...

Hi Lily,

Thanks for sharing your recipes.

From your recipe got 1 tsp msg (optional), waht is msg?what you call it in chinese?


lily ng said...


read msg from wiki it is called 'mei ching' in cantonese and it is optional which means you can omit it if you choose.

Shu Yi Wu said...

Hi Lily,

may i ask need to add water inside or not? cos when i mixed all the ingredient together it become very dry (put 250g prawn with 150g starch flour mixed together already very dry), hope can get your reply to solve my doubt,tks!

lily ng said...

shu yi

you would have to add a little water while you are kneading. A little water goes very far for tapioca starch so be careful and add accordingly. if gone too far, add more tapioca starch. I did not have to add water perhaps my prawns are not so dry therefore there is moisture there.

Benjamin Ong said...

Hi Lily,

I know this comment might have be too late but just stumbled on your blog.
How long does it take if I steam with a wok?


lilyng said...


steaming on the stovetop depends on the heat and the amount of water. The time taken to steam the rolls of prawn mixture also depends on how big a roll you have done. The thicker the rolls the longer it takes. Thicker rolls make big big crackers after frying. I like 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch rolls. It will take at least 1 hr to fully cook. You can never overcook, so let it cook longer. Cut a roll and check to see if the center has no more white uncooked paste. If uncooked crackers will not fry to perfection. Hope this helps

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...