Cucur udang are prawn fritters which are commonly sold by Malay street vendors in Malaysia and Singapore. These golden prawn fritters are enjoyed during breakfast right up till tea time. They are served together with a sweet and spicy chili sauce or are added to other recipes as an ingredient. At mamak eateries, cucur udang are added to 'rojak' (local salad) or 'mee goreng' (fried noodles). When prawn fritters are used in Mee goreng mamak, it adds a delicious fluffy texture to the noodles. This recipe yields prawn fritters which are crispy at the side, yet fluffy on the inside without the overpowering flavour of prawns. Needless to say, the taste is absolutely amazing.
Crispy cucur udang
Oil used to fry cucur udang needs to be at the right temperature or the batter will soak up the oil instead and results in soggy prawn fritters. Once the pan is heated to medium heat, pour enough oil to cover at least half of the prawn fritters. Test the temperature of the oil by using wooden chopsticks or skewers. When the oil is hot enough, small bubbles will appear around the tip of the chopsticks or skewers. If you have a thermometer, the ideal temperature to fry the fritters is 360 F (180 C).
The other tip is to use a flat ladle to spoon the batter. Thus, the sides will be thin and crispy while the centre is soft and fluffy.
Type of prawns
A whole shrimp or prawn is usually added to the top of the batter before frying. It is common to have its shell and head intact as they enhanced the flavour of the fritter. Traditionally, smaller shrimps or prawns such as North Atlantic pink shrimps are used due to the softness of its shell and head. However, in this recipe, medium sized prawns excluding the shell and head are used instead.
Cucur udang sauce
Prawn fritters are best served with sweet and mildly spicy chili sauce. Thai chili sauce would be the best choice.
How to store cucur udang
After frying, cucur udang can be served immediately or allow to cool to room temperature. If you plan to use it in Mee goreng mamak, keep them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Refrigerated fried prawn fritters can be reheated in a microwave oven.
If you plan to prepare cucur udang in advanced, fry the batter until it is about 50 percent cooked without placing the prawn on top. The center of the cucur udang should still be soft. After removing from the oil, leave them to cool to room temperature. Press a prawn or shrimp into the half fried cucur udang. It can be kept frozen for up to 3 months. Fry frozen cucur udang without thawing.