|Hot and crispy Cucur Udang|
This is one of my favourite Malaysian "pasar malam" (night market) snacks. I had a craving for it today after coming across photos and reminders of it on email and facebook, and fortunately, I had some school prawns which I bought last week and kept in the freezer, for the specific purpose of making cucur udang. It must be funny (like weird funny) how excited I usually get when I'm trying out a new dish or recipe. I've never made these before, but based on my "research", the ingredients are pretty much the same. The consistency of the batter has to be just right so that the fritter doesn't turn out too dense, but rather light and fluffy. I used the school prawns whole, with heads, shells and all (but I trimmed off the feelers, of course, not wanting to end up with Medusa-like fritters), and when deep-fried, the prawns were crisp and provided a nice contrast against the soft and fluffy dough, and the sweet and juicy crunch of the bean sprouts. I didn't have time to make a chilli sauce to go with it, so I just used Lingham's chilli sauce, which worked well too. I still have some prawns left in the freezer, so the next time I get craving for these again, I'm all prepared! :)
Here is the best recipe for cucur udang that I've tried so far. I found it on Home Sweet Home and tweaked it slightly.
Cucur Udang Recipe
Adapted from Home Sweet Home
3 cups plain flour
1/2 cup rice flour
3 tbsp cornflour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
1 tsp sugar
Approx 3 cups water
1-2 stalks spring onions, chopped
Handful of beansprouts, tails removed
300g small/medium prawns*
* Note: You can use medium prawns, shell and devein them and chop them coarsely, then mix them into the batter. Then, add a small prawn (with shell, head and all) on top of the batter before lowering it into the oil to deep-fry.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix evenly with a whisk. Make a well in the centre and slowly add water, whisking until the batter is smooth. Add spring onions, beansprouts and chopped prawns. Mix well and leave aside for 30 minutes.
Heat up sufficient oil for deep-frying in a wok. Use a large spoon or ladle to scoop the batter, add a small prawn on top and drop it into the hot oil. Repeat with the rest of the batter and fry until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with chilli sauce.
|Deep-fried prawn and bean sprout fritters served with a sweet chilli dipping sauce|
|Second attempt using a different recipe, and this time I placed some prawns on top of the batter|