Sunday, October 15, 2006

HHDD#6 - Malaysian Prawn fritters / a kiddie favourite

Prawn fritter - cucur udang

It's Hay Hay It's Donna Day (HHDD) time again and this time it's hosted by jenjen of Milk and Cookies. Jenjen was the winner of the previous HHDD event Savoury Tarts organised by Tami of running with tweezers and in tradition of the blog event, the winner of the round gets the honour of hosting the next round of HHDD.

When jenjen unveiled the theme for round 6 as F for Fritter, the first thing that came to my mind was CUCUR UDANG!! Cucur Udang or Prawn fritter is one of my favourite all time fritter. It's a Malaysian delicacy and it ranks right up the top of my fritter favourites list along with Cucur Bawang (Onion fritter), Pisang Goreng (Fried Banana a.k.a Banana Fritter), Corn fritters and Cempedak Goreng (Jackfruit fritter - for simplicity we'll call it jackfruit)

Growing up in Malaysia, I have fond memories of prawn and onion fritters as it was the best serving of food they had in the school canteen of the schools that I was educated in. In Malaysia, we have two schooling sessions in a day. Starting at 7:35am til 1:10pm for the morning sessions and from 1:10pm til 6:30pm for the afternoon sessions. We were only allowed one recess for the day because the kids in the morning would go home for lunch whilst the kids in the arvo would come to school after lunch. Recess would be at 10:30am and 3:15pm every day.

I remembered as a kid that my friends and I would be at the edge of our seat at at 5mins to recess and take turns to peek at the clock in the class room and the teacher, counting the last 5 minutes as they went buy, fingers crossed, hoping that she/he would finish their session in time. As soon as the recess bell rings, two of us would bolt out in time to be the first few at the canteen to buy the first onion fritter of the day.

The school canteen at the primary school where I was educated used to sell them for 10cents a piece and they were huge fritters, the size of a tennis ball and when you're 10 years old, 3 or 4 of them will fill you up until the end of the day at 1:10pm.

So.. they were ONLY huge balls of fried batter filled sparsely with bean sprouts and spring onions and served with watered down Maggi Chilli sauce. But they were still the best!

Then, in my high school years, the school canteen there had both the onion fritters and the upmarket prawn fritters. The onion fritters were 20cents (the price inflated! because technically it meant that if you're in high school your allowance would increase from 50cents a day to $2 a day) and half the size; and they had the prawn fritters for 50cents a piece, because the prawn fritters were different in shape and came with a piece of prawn on the top. But they were both still served with the same watered down Maggi Chilli sauce.

When I whinged to my mum that the prices were up and they quality of the food was poor compared to the ones at my old primary school, she whipped up a batch of fritters with both the onions and prawns in them, and they were peeled banana prawns! not the stingy unpeeled shrimp they had at the canteen. They were the best fritters I had ever had! and I never looked back since. (they were served with Real Maggi Chilli sauce.. not the watered down version!)

I still miss mum's version. Occasionally when I go home for dinner mum would ask what I wanted for dinner.. sometimes.. when I crave it, I would ask for her prawn fritters or whatever else she makes that I missed eating..and if I was lucky.. I would get it the next fortnight when I go home for dinner :D

Unfortunately, I couldn't get hold of my mum's recipe (because like all mums, her recipes are stored in her memory bank and she needed time to sit and think it out) but I found an Amy Beh recipe from that I adapted to try and emulate my mum's feat. (Amy Beh is a famous Malaysian cook)

Prawn fritters

20 raw prawns, peeled and chopped into small pieces
275g self-raising flour
60g rice flour
1 small egg, lightly beaten
A handful of bean sprouts, tailed
2 stalk spring onion, chopped
1 onion, finely sliced
350ml water
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp chicken stock granules
½ tsp sesame oil

Oil for deep frying
Your favourite chilli sauce.

Sift plain and rice flour together into a large mixing bowl and season with salt, pepper, sugar, chicken stock and sesame oil.
Add the beaten egg and water and mix into a batter.
Mix in the prawns, bean sprouts, spring onion, and onion then leave batter to stand for 30–40 minutes.
Heat oil in a saucepan
For each fritter, drop 1 chinese spoon of batter into the oil and fry until golden brown.
Drain the excess oil on paper towels.

Serve with your favourite chilli sauce/ sweet chilli sauce.

*I had mine with Lingham's chilli sauce.

Malaysian Prawn fritter - cucur udang

The verdict: Umm, can I just say that they're not as good as my mums! LOL.

Hay Hay It's Donna Day is the brainchild of Barbara of Winos and foodies.


Brilynn said...

Thanks for sharing your food memories!
And I'm sure anyone would love to have these, even if they're not the same as your mom's.

Ellie said...

Great story and photos! School canteens are always a rip off, but isn't it funny how at the time, we think they are top cuisine?

These look good and I will definetely give them a try - even if they're not as good as your moms ;)

Anonymous said...

Totally great Iling. If only you lived closer then I would be over your place in a jiffy! Thanks for joining in.

ilingc said...

Brilynn: Hi there. You're welcome. Funny how we associate some food with our upbringing.

Ellie: Thanks. It is funny, I can still remember how disappointed we'd get if we got held up in class and how crushed we were when we'd missed out on them. :)

I will now go and bug my mum to write it down .. :D

Jen: Hey Jen, thanks for picking a great theme. It was a very nostalgic experience. Made me realise how much I miss the good ol' days.

swee said...

cucur udang ! yum.. I thought it was the chinese prawn fritters where it's flat, crispy, crunchy and some tiny shelled prawns on top. The ones they sell with Rojak. but good job tho!

ilingc said...

Hi Swee,
I thought cucur udang was a malay thing because I used to buy them off a malay stall.

Yes, they're the ones with the prawns on top, but I don't like them that way because you only get one prawn and you have to peel it to eat it.

This way you do all the peeling before hand and you always end up with more than one prawn in each. The bonus thing is that you can just stuff it in your mouth later on haha.

Barbara said...

Lovley post Ilingc. I enjoyed reading about your schooldays. I'm certainly going to try the prawn fritters now. Thanks for participating.

Sylvia said...

Haha. I've tried these before too.. and they were good, but not nearly as good as my mom makes them. I made them JUST to her recipe and it still didn't work... Weird.
Ananta Watches

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