Cooking prawn crackers is easy when you know how. All you need is a deep frying pan, oil with a high smoke point, and the prawn cracker discs. Below you will take each step to help you cook the perfect prawn crackers or watch our video that walks you through the process.
How to cook authentic Chinese prawn crackers (video)
What you need
- Deep frying pan
- High smoke point oil
- Prawn crackers
The frying pan has to be deep to deep fry the prawn crackers. A large frying pan means that you can cook lots at a time without overcrowding the prawn crackers.
Using a high smoke point oil is a must. The best oils you can use for this are vegetable, sunflower or groundnut. If you use olive oil to deep fry your prawn crackers, it will add too much flavour, will be too expensive to cook, and could start smoking.
Uncooked cook prawn crackers can be purchased from most cultural Asian supermarkets or you can buy them online. Buying them in the form of discs works out the cheapest way to buy them, and they will stay fresh for seven months to a year if unopened. Usually, you will get a lot for your money. The crackers can be easily cooked whenever you have a Chinese cooking night or fancy a prawn cracker snack.
Are prawn crackers healthy?
Prawn crackers are not the healthiest thing you could eat, but they taste great and can be eaten occasionally as part of a healthy balanced diet. The main reason they are unhealthy is because they are deep-fried and contain a lot of fat. Also, the seasonings that are used to make them have a lot of salt.
Cooking the prawn crackers
Start by adding oil to your frying pan, then put it on a high heat. The oil must be hot enough; otherwise, the prawn crackers will absorb too much oil, go crispy, and no longer be edible. Make sure to wait for the oil to be hot and when you think it is ready, do a test with one prawn cracker. It is hot enough if it bubbles and quickly turns into a cooked puffy cracker.
You will need to monitor the heat throughout and may have to reduce it if the oil begins spitting or turn it up if it seems that the prawn crackers are not cooking well. The skill you will need the most for this is patience.
Once the prawn crackers are cooked, you will want to take them out of the pan with a slotted spoon and place them on some kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil. If you do not have any, it doesn't matter. Allow the oil to drain for longer by keeping it on a sieve over a bowl.
I had to do this when I made them because there was a kitchen paper shortage due to the coronavirus panic buying in the supermarkets. Please take care when making because hot oil is dangerous, and you do not want to burn yourself.
If you use a cast-iron frying pan, once the pan reaches its maximum temperature, you might be okay to turn it off as it tends to stay hot for a long time.
When each prawn cracker cooks, it opens up like a flower and cooking them is rewarding; fresh ones taste so good, and cooking these prawn crackers is the same process as cooking Indian poppadoms. Enjoy!