Prawn crackers originated in Sumatra, Indonesia in the late 16th century and have since remained a popular, traditional snack in Southeast Asia. They can be eaten at any time of the day. The most usual times to consume them are as a teatime snack in the evening and late morning.
WHAT IS Prawn Crackers?
Traditionally, Chinese prawn crackers are made of a mixture of dried shrimp and tapioca flour. The mixture is ground to a fine powder, then mixed with water to create dough. Next, it is pressed into thin sheets, cut into individual crackers, and then dried.
These dried crackers are packaged and sold, to be deep-fried by individual consumers. Most brands of shrimp chips also contain seasonings such as MSG and black and white pepper. They are also often dyed in various exotic colors, such as purple and hot pink. This is in order to appear more attractive to consumers.
With the commercialization of many traditional Asian snacks, shrimp chips are more widely available. Many companies sell them in plastic packaging, as a substitute for potato chips.
Because of their relatively healthier nature, they are extremely popular in Asian convenience stores. Even Western consumers can enjoy this snack as it is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than potato chips.
Additionally, the distinctly Asian flavor profile provides an element of novelty to the usual banality of packaged snacks. This repackaging of old favorite dishes has also been a huge part of the culinary renaissance of Asia, boosting the popularity of this cuisine worldwide.
DIFFERENT TYPES of Prawn Crackers
There are various different varieties of prawn crackers. Some of the most prominent and widely available ones are listed below. In case you want to know where to buy these varieties, check your local Asian grocery market. In some cases, as specified below, they can be bought online.
CHINESE PRAWN CRACKERS
These are usually dyed solid colors and contain cornstarch as a binder and thickener. This means that this Chinese snack tastes more like noodles than potato chips. These shrimp chips are sold uncooked. Thus, they store well and thus can be bought online and shipped overseas. Prawn crackers sprinkled with dried chili
This light snack is also, particularly a crowd-pleaser in social gatherings in Asia. Not only for their tastiness but also cause they usually come in a variety of colors such as pink, yellow, green, and white! One serving is 81 calories when cooked without fat. It also has 21 grams of carbohydrates.
JAPANESE SHRIMP CHIPS
Similar to many Japanese treats like mochi, the Japanese style of prawn crackers uses rice flour or puffed rice as a binding agent. This means its texture is generally less hard and its taste is less strong than the Chinese variety.
One serving is 130 calories, with 5 grams of fat, 20g of carbohydrates, and no sugar. So, if you prefer rice to noodles, or if you want to buy precooked shrimp chips, try this variety. Calbee Baked Prawn Chips with Hot Garlic Flavour
These crackers contain wheat flour and soy sauce to add an extra umami tang. Moreover, if you prefer crisp, bready crackers, these are for you. One serving contains 140 calories, with 5 grams of fat, 18g of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of sugar. Nongshim Crackers Image from Instagram Nongshim is a popular one in Korea which we highly recommend you try.
THAI PRAWN CRACKER
These shrimp chips contain sweet Thai chili and traditional tapioca flour. Each serving is a mere 108 calories when cooked without fat, with 22 grams of carbohydrates. You should decide which preparation is right for you based on your flavor and textural preferences as well as your nutrition requirements.
Before we teach you how to use dried crackers to make your very own shrimp chips at home, here are some tips on how to cook them. Use a neutral flavored oil, such as grapeseed, vegetable, or canola. In case you don’t want to incorporate fat, feel free to use a microwave, oven, or air fryer.
However, we found that deep frying gave the best results so we will not be covering these methods in this recipe. The oil used to deep-fry these dishes can be reused for many other purposes. Let it cool and then strain it into a storage container for later.
Consider investing in an oil splatter guard if you deep-fry often. Once you get this, your frying-in-the-kitchen experience will no longer be a frightful one! One can be ordered here; Gorilla Grip Oil Splatter Guard, Helps Shield Grease, and Oil Splashes Buy Now Shrimp Chips
Chinese Prawn Crackers Shrimp chips are a traditional Chinese snack that comes in a variety of colors such as green, pink, yellow, and white. These sweet and crispy prawn crackers can be prepared easily at home to be served as an appetizer, side dish, or just on their own as a mid-day snack!
6 people Calories: 627kcal Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes Ingredients 1 pack shrimp chips 2 cups neutral-flavored oil Make Recipe Powered by Instructions Heat up the oil in a pot or wok up to 165 degrees Celsius or 330 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do not have a suitable thermometer, wait for 5 to 6 minutes until the oil is hot enough.
Carefully add in and fry 8 to 10 prawn crackers at a time, ensuring that each piece can completely soak and submerge into the hot oil. This is to make sure that each piece is cooked thoroughly and evenly. After they expand and float to the top of the pot, remove them with a metal spider. Drain them on a plate lined with paper towels to remove any excess oil. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the whole pack of prawn crackers has been cooked.
Serve while hot. Notes The oil added to the pot or work should ideally be at least 1 inch deep so that the pieces can submerge and be thoroughly deep-fried. Adjust the amount of oil depending on the cooking utensil that you use.
If you do not have a thermometer, one old Asian trick to know whether the oil is hot enough is by dipping a chopstick into the oil. If you see the oil bubbling around the dipped chopstick, then that’s a signal that the oil is hot enough. The crackers get soggy after two hours’ exposure to the air, so eat up once served!
Nutrition Serving: 100g Calories: 627kcal Carbohydrates: 59.1g Protein: 2.3g Fat: 73g Saturated Fat: 59g Sodium: 1mg Potassium: 3mg Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and is only rough estimations.
HOW LONG DO SHRIMP CHIPS LAST?
Uncooked, the sealed package can last for years. However, we note that the opened package of uncooked crackers can last for up to a year. This is if it is kept away from air, moisture, and sunlight. Once fried, the chips should be ideally consumed within 2 hours.
That is when the snack retains most of its crispiness and sweetness. If you would like to keep the fried crackers for longer, then we recommend storing them in a vacuum-sealed container. That should keep its texture crispy for the next one or two days.
In this article, we told you everything a discerning foodie needs to know about prawn crackers. Shrimp chips are an easily available and customizable addition to anyone’s snack arsenal.
If you are looking to expand your culinary horizons without expanding a strain on your wallet, this article should have helped you. Even those just looking for a new easy, favorite crowd-pleasing party dish can learn something from the information provided in this article.