Every time I remember my trip to Singapore, I just can’t quite forget my visit to the Lau Pa Sat. How the smell of grilled meats, fried food, and the scent of beer wafting the air. This would be the first time I try the Cereal Prawns, this would be the time, I get addicted. The shell of the prawn, so crispy you don’t need to remove it, the tender meat enveloped in that sweet salty milky spicy piece of shrimp. It was divine, it was addicting. All these opposing flavors fusing to delight your senses.
Now back in Manila, I have searched all over the metro to get the same feeling that still eludes me to this day, The sweet tender taste of shell on meat on cereal. Don’t get me wrong, there are some restaurants that serve it like Wee Nam Kee, Wang Fu and other chinese restaurants, however, I find that it’s too expensive for just 6 pieces of shrimp and it usually ranges from 450 PHP to 780 PHP.
I sought to find my own way to make these Cereal Prawns. I shared my own video on how to make it below, now here is a more in dept guide for your own cereal prawn journey.
Usually for the cereal part of this recipe Singaporeans use the Nestum brand of cereal, the problem is they only sell that in Singapore and Hong Kong. At first, this was a challenge and believe me I have begged several friends to bring me home this Classic Nestum mix but to no avail.
Now, you think this will be a bit of a roadblock but that didn’t stop me, I found that even using the local brand of Corn flakes or the Kellog’s brand still made my Cereal Prawn delicious.
What you need
3/4 kg Prawns *Clean and devein before hand
3/4 c All Purpose Flour
2 TBSP Powdered Milk
2 TSP White Sugar
450 g Kellog’s Corn Flakes
15-20 Kaffir Lime Leaves/Basil Leaves with Lemon (you can also use curry leaves)
1/4 c unsalted butter
1 c Vegetable Oil
1 Birds Eye Chili (Red)
1 Green Chili
A pinch of salt and pepper
Tip: Squeeze the juice of half the lemon into the basil leaves and leave for 15-20 minutes before starting.
Step 1: The Prawn Batter
Place all the flour into a flat surface or plate then add in 1 TBSP powdered milk, 1 TSP white sugar, and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Mix all the ingredients together with a spoon or fork. Remember to mix evenly.
Step 2: Dress the Prawns
My family really does not like peeling shrimps, so this is a case to case basis. You can either peel and devein the shrimps, or just devein it and leave the shells on before starting. In this step, you need to coat the shrimps generously with the milk/flour batter, then set aside.
Step 3: Cereal and Milk
Time to open up that bag of cereal and start pounding, you can use a rolling pin or a food processor. The idea is you need to crush the cereal to the texture of grainy sand. Once you reach that texture, add 1 TBSP of powdered milk and 1 TSP of White Sugar. Set Aside.
Step 4: Fry ’em up
Prepare a small wok, and place 1 c of Vegetable oil, turn the heat up to medium high. To make sure the oil is hot, try sprinkling it with a bit of rock salt, if it sizzles its hot enough. Once the oil is ready, get your coated prawns and place in the oil one by one. Turn them as needed, as you cook them the usually gray prawn will turn bright orange. Cook each side evenly, this will take around 2-3 minutes per side. Do not leave your prawns unattended, there’s nothing worse than overcooked prawn, Once, you’re done frying them, place on a plate with paper napkin underneath to absorb the extra oil and set aside.
Step 5: Get Together
Here is when it all comes together. The whole process really depends on how fast you can do the first 4 steps. In my case, I was already starving when I got to step 5 that I couldn’t resist getting a piece of the already fried tasty shrimp.
In another pan, turn up the heat to low/medium then melt the 1/4 c of unsalted butter. Once melted, add the kaffir lime leaves/basil leaves, wait until you can smell the lime butter aroma before adding the chilies, this takes about 2-3 minutes. When the chilies are also fragrant and cooked, time to bring in the Cereal milk mix, just pour it all in and let the cereal absorb the butter . Take note, you want to bring down the heat to low, so that you don’t burn the cereal. Once the cereal has fully absorbed the butter. time to bring out your fried shrimp and add them several pieces at a time. At this point, you fold the cereal mix so that all the shrimp is coaxed in cereal. Repeat this several times, until all the prawns are in. Carefully transfer the Cereal Prawns to platter and add some cilantro for garnish.
Tada! Singaporean Cereal Prawns right in your kitchen. Finally that exciting mix of salty-spicy-sweet combination is in my mouth. It sure hits the spot. Another great thing about this is the cost to make this entire batch of Cereal Prawn with around 15-20 pieces of shrimp is roughly the same amount I would pay in a restaurant for only 6 pieces.
For a peek at how I made my version, watch the video at the top of the post and subscribe to the fatgirlsdayout youtube channel for more videos of our How To Cook Series.
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