June 11, 2011

The Prawn Fritter - From Fuzhou City to Bandar Brunei Darulsalam

When we were in school in Sibu one of the favourite food items sold by almost all the school canteens would be the prawn fritters (Har bian). The Foochows in particular have viewed prawn fritters to have their origins in Fuzhou (China) where the Min River and the sea around China provide enough prawns for food on the table. The Fuzhou prawn sauce (Ha Yiu) is almost indispensable in their kitchens.

I remember my grandmother making some of the best deep fried prawn fritters whenever we had prawns from the sea. She would use a drop of prawn sauce in the making of the batter.

There are different kinds of batters of course. Some are good and some are so so...Pasar Malam prawn fritters tend to be harder because the chefs do not use enough egg white or combine the right proportion of rice flour with ordinary flour. There significant tips to make the best of fritters. Some prawn fritters are so badly made that the prawns drop out. Some batter can be as hard as plastic discs.

So to me it is a matter of trial and error. I hope this recipe below is quite alright. Please give it a try ...or just stick to your own recipe which could be the best in the world...and your own secret!!

But prawn fritters will remain one of my favourite comfort foods...and a good sweet chili sauce is often good to the last drop....

enjoy my collection of photos!!

Hei Bian made by the lady who used to operate a stall in Pelita Commercial Centre. Now she has moved to Puchong  (KL)  I will give her phone no. to you once I have it...Her rojak was the best in Miri!!

500 gm medium sized prawns
 oil for deep frying
1 tsp salt (more or less)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
l tsp pepper
1 tbsp cornflour
1/2 tbsp egg white
1/2 tbsp oil
1 rice bowl plain flour (113g)
6 tbsp glutinuous rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
l tsp pepper
2 tbsp oil
about 150ml water

(optional - chopped spring onions  from one bunch)
1.  Shell and devein prawns, leaving each with the tail portion.  Pat dry.
2.  Season prawns with seasoning and leave aside for 30 minutes.
3.  Put batter ingredients into a bowl and mix well.  Add in water slowly and stir gently until a smooth batter is formed. Lastly add in the 2 tbsp oil and stir thoroughly.  Let sit in the fridge for about an hour.
4.  Heat up oil for deep frying.  2 ways - (a) hold prawn by the tail and dip into batter to coat prawn, deep-fry until golden brown. The frying time is about 3 minutes.  Dish up and drain well. (b) use a ladle and place one prawn in the middle of batter slowly slide into the pan.

Photo of Big Prawn (Shelled) with Minced Chicken
Singapore Minced Chicken and Big Prawn Fritters - this is really over the top....

Have a great weekend!!


sintaicharles said...

Despite my allergy, I love prawn fritters.

Anonymous said...

is this prawn fritters ur refering to as hei piah(deep fried prawn with shells intact)tht looks like a flat pancake which normally being sold in pasar malam ,eaten with sweet sauce.
Definitely will give it a try and let u know how it will turn out.
Thanks Sarawakina for the recipe

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes. Charles. Prawn fritters are such delectable snacks especially those made at home.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Anonymous..the recipe is for two types..one is the long one with the prawns coated in the batter and follow shape of prawn (rather like the third photo...and the other one is like the ordinary pasar malam one - ladle shaped. W@e Foochows normally use chives and not spring onions. Chives are not always in the market. Children any way prefer spring onions. Try the recipe and let me know. thanks.

Ann said...

our primary school. yummmy!

In Singapore, a Foochow family's recipe used rice porridge, I could not imagine that.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes..Ann. I always remember the prawn fritters in our primary school...because we did not have enough money to buy often...most of the time I saved my money for the weekly dian bian hoo. Mum would say don't eat the prawn fritters because they were made by "you don't know who"....and on top of that we were never actually did have a lot of chilli sauce at home. I thought Chilli sauce was something out of this world. Later in life I made my own chilli sauce like a woman with a vengeance...hahahah

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ann...What does it taste like...I mean the fritters made with porridge?

Ann said...

I don't know, they showed as a family in Singapore. I didn't think it would taste as delicious as the Sibu ones. Can't imagine CHIOOK.

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