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Cereal Prawn Recipe: A Chinese Delicacy for All Food Explorers

You've probably heard of cereal prawns if you are in exploration of Chinese cuisine. This popular dish is a staple in many Chinese restaurants, and for good reason. The combination of crispy cereal and succulent prawns makes for a mouth-watering dish that's hard to resist. In this article, we'll take a closer look at cereal prawns and how to make them at home.

A wok sizzles as prawns are stir-fried with crispy cereal in a savory Chinese sauce

Understanding Cereal Prawns Cereal prawns are a classic Chinese dish that originated in Singapore. The dish consists of deep-fried prawns that are coated in a mixture of cereal, butter, and spices. The cereal adds a crunchy texture to the dish, while the butter and spices give it a rich, savoury flavour.

Ingredients Breakdown To make cereal prawns, you'll need a few key ingredients. Of course, you'll need prawns - we recommend using fresh tiger prawns for the best flavour. You'll also need cereal - Nestum cereal is the most commonly used cereal for this dish. Other ingredients include butter, curry leaves, chilli, sugar, and salt. If you're feeling adventurous, you can also add other seafood to the dish, such as squid or crab.

Key Takeaways

  • Cereal prawns are a popular Chinese dish that originated in Singapore.
  • The dish is made up of deep-fried prawns coated in a mixture of cereal, butter, and spices.
  • To make cereal prawns, you'll need prawns, cereal, butter, curry leaves, chilli, sugar, and salt.

Understanding Cereal Prawns

A sizzling wok tosses plump prawns in a sticky, golden cereal coating, emitting a savory aroma of garlic and spice

Cereal prawns, also known as "Mai Pian Xia" (麦片虾) in Chinese, is a popular dish in Singaporean and Chinese restaurants. The dish is made by coating the prawns with a mixture of cereal and other ingredients before frying them until crispy. This results in a sweet and savoury flavour with a crunchy texture.

History and Origin

The origin of cereal prawns is unclear, but it is believed to have originated in Singapore. The dish gained popularity in the 1980s and 1990s, and it is now a staple in many Chinese restaurants in Singapore and other parts of the world.

Cultural Significance

Cereal prawns are a popular dish in Singaporean and Chinese cuisine. The dish is often served during festive occasions such as Chinese New Year and weddings. It is also a popular dish for family dinners and gatherings.

If you are looking to cook cereal prawns at home, you can use various types of seafood such as prawns, shrimp, or lobster. The type of seafood you use will depend on your preference and availability. It is important to ensure that the seafood is fresh and properly cleaned before cooking.

To make the dish, you will need ingredients such as cereal, sugar, milk powder, and chicken stock cube. You can also add other ingredients such as garlic, chilli, and curry leaves to enhance the flavour of the dish.

In summary, cereal prawns is a popular dish in Singaporean and Chinese cuisine that is enjoyed by many people. With the right ingredients and cooking techniques, you can easily make this delicious dish at home.

Ingredients Breakdown

A bowl of cereal, a plate of prawns, and Chinese spices laid out on a kitchen counter

When it comes to making the perfect cereal prawn dish, it all starts with choosing the right prawns. You will want to use large or king prawns for this recipe to ensure that they are big enough to hold the cereal coating. If you prefer, you can also use other types of seafood like squid or scallops to add variety to the dish.

Next, let's talk about the cereal mix essentials. The two main ingredients you will need are Nestum and milk powder. These ingredients give the cereal coating its signature crunchiness and flavour. You can find Nestum in most Asian grocery stores, but if you can't find it, you can substitute it with cornflakes or another cereal of your choice.

For seasoning and aromatics, you will need garlic, chilli padi, curry leaves, and chicken powder. These ingredients give the dish a spicy and savoury flavour that pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the cereal coating. You can adjust the amount of chilli padi to your liking, depending on how spicy you want the dish to be.

When it comes to the butter, make sure to use unsalted butter so that you can control the amount of salt in the dish. You will also need an egg for the prawn batter, along with some cornflour to help the batter stick to the prawns.

Here is a breakdown of the ingredients you will need:

Choosing the Right Prawns

  • Large or king prawns
  • Squid or scallops (optional)

Cereal Mix Essentials

  • Nestum
  • Milk powder
  • Cornflakes (substitute for Nestum)

Seasoning and Aromatics

  • Garlic
  • Chilli padi
  • Curry leaves
  • Chicken powder
  • Salt

Make sure to use unsalted butter for the dish.

By following this ingredient breakdown, you'll be on your way to making a delicious and authentic cereal prawn dish that your family and friends will love.

Preparation Techniques

A chef tosses prawns in a wok with crispy cereal, garlic, and chili, creating a fragrant and flavorful Chinese dish

Preparing cereal prawns may seem like a daunting task, but with the right techniques, you can create a dish that is both delicious and visually appealing. Here are some tips to help you create the perfect cereal prawn dish.

Cleaning and Deveining Prawns

Before you begin cooking, it is important to ensure that your prawns are cleaned and deveined properly. To clean the prawns, rinse them under cold water and pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Use scissors to cut off the legs and antennae, leaving the shell intact. Next, use a toothpick or the tip of a sharp knife to devein the prawns. This will help to remove any grit or sand that may be present.

Creating the Perfect Batter

The batter is an important part of the cereal prawn dish. To create the perfect batter, you will need to mix flour, cornstarch, and egg white. Whisk the ingredients together until you get a smooth and thick consistency. You can also add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavour of the batter.

Deep Frying to Golden Perfection

Once you have prepared the prawns and the batter, it is time to deep fry them. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan until it reaches 180°C. Dip the prawns in the batter, making sure they are coated evenly. Then, carefully drop the prawns into the hot oil and fry them until they turn golden brown. Remove the prawns from the oil using a slotted spoon and place them on a plate lined with kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil.

It is important to note that you can also use other types of seafood such as squid or fish in this recipe. However, the cooking time may vary depending on the type of seafood you use. So, make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

By following these simple techniques, you can create a delicious and visually appealing cereal prawn dish that is sure to impress your guests.

Cooking the Dish

Prawns sizzle in a hot wok with garlic and ginger. A splash of soy sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds add flavor to the dish

Stir Frying Cereal Mix

To begin cooking the cereal prawns, you should first prepare the cereal mix. In a pan, heat some butter over low heat. Once the butter has melted, add the cereal and stir fry for about 30 seconds until it turns golden brown. Be careful not to burn the cereal as it can become bitter.

Combining Prawns with Cereal

Next, you can start cooking the prawns. Heat up some oil in a separate pan until it's hot. Once the oil is hot, add the prawns and stir fry for a few seconds until they turn pink. Then, add the cereal mix to the pan and stir fry for a few more seconds until the prawns are fully coated in the cereal.

For the batter, mix plain flour, salt, and white pepper in a bowl. Dip the prawns in the batter and shake off the excess before frying them in hot oil until they are crispy and golden brown.

Once the prawns are cooked, remove them from the pan and place them on a paper towel to remove any excess oil. In a separate pan, melt some butter over low heat and add sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves and then add the crispy cereal mix to the pan. Stir for a few seconds until the cereal is evenly coated in the butter and sugar mixture.

Finally, combine the prawns with the crispy cereal mix and stir fry for a few seconds until the prawns are coated in the sweet and crispy cereal. Serve hot and enjoy!

If you want to add more seafood to this dish, you can also use other types of seafood such as squid or scallops. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure that they are fully cooked.

Serving and Presentation

A bowl of crispy cereal-coated prawns, garnished with sesame seeds and green onions, served on a traditional Chinese-style platter

Plating and Garnishing

When it comes to serving cereal prawns, presentation is key. The dish is not only fragrant and delicious, but it also has a wonderful crunchy texture that makes it a great side dish for any meal. To plate the dish, start by arranging the prawns in a circular pattern on a large plate. Next, sprinkle some chopped curry leaves and chilli padi over the top of the prawns to add some colour and flavour.

To add some extra crunch to the dish, you can also sprinkle some extra cereal over the top of the prawns. This will give the dish an added layer of crispiness that will make it even more enjoyable to eat. Finally, garnish the dish with a few slices of lime to add some acidity and balance out the flavours.

Pairing with Other Dishes

Cereal butter prawns are a great side dish that can be paired with a variety of other dishes to create a complete meal. If you're looking for a seafood-based meal, you can pair the prawns with some steamed fish or a seafood stir-fry. The crunchy texture of the cereal prawns will complement the soft and tender texture of the seafood, creating a perfect balance of flavours and textures.

If you're looking for a non-seafood-based meal, you can pair the prawns with some stir-fried vegetables or a noodle dish. The buttery and fragrant flavour of the prawns will complement the savoury and spicy flavours of the vegetables or noodles, creating a delicious and satisfying meal.

Overall, cereal butter prawns are a versatile and delicious dish that can be enjoyed as a side dish or as part of a complete meal. With their deep-fried and crispy texture, fragrant buttery flavour, and crunchy cereal coating, they are sure to be a hit with anyone who tries them.

Frequently Asked Questions

A sizzling wok filled with plump prawns coated in a golden, crispy cereal coating, garnished with fragrant Chinese spices and herbs

What ingredients are needed for a simple Chinese cereal prawn dish?

For a simple Chinese cereal prawn dish, you will need medium-sized prawns, curry leaves, garlic, chilli, butter, cereal, salt, and white ground pepper. You can also add seasoning to the prawns for added flavour.

How can you make a healthier version of Chinese cereal prawns?

To make a healthier version of Chinese cereal prawns, you can use low-fat cereal and reduce the amount of butter used. You can also opt for a healthier cooking method such as baking or grilling instead of deep-frying the prawns.

What's the easiest way to prepare cereal prawns?

The easiest way to prepare cereal prawns is to deep-fry the prawns until they are cooked and crispy. Then, mix the cereal with butter and other seasonings before tossing the prawns in the mixture.

How do you make cereal prawns with a Singaporean twist?

To make cereal prawns with a Singaporean twist, you can add curry leaves, chilli, and garlic to the mixture for added flavour. You can also use Nestum cereal for a more authentic Singaporean taste.

What are the best practices for achieving the perfect cereal prawn texture?

To achieve the perfect cereal prawn texture, make sure that the prawns are fresh and not overcooked. Use the right amount of cereal and butter mixture to coat the prawns evenly, and make sure to toss them gently to prevent the cereal from falling off.

Can you suggest alternatives for Nestum in a cereal prawn recipe?

If you cannot find Nestum cereal, you can use cornflakes or any other type of cereal that has a similar texture. You can also add some sugar and salt to the cereal to achieve the desired taste. Additionally, you can use other types of seafood such as squid or scallops instead of prawns for a different twist on the dish.