Prawn crackers in regular and wasabi
There seems to be only one recipe for prawn crackers
in the world. Well, almost.
So you'd think it would be hard to go wrong, but I must say I really struggled to get my crackers to puff up the way I wanted them to.
It seemed I'd cut them thinly enough - since they weren't really coming out too fat, just not as fluffed as I'd hoped.
I was finally getting my prawn crackers to expand by raising the temperature of the oil quite a bit from the suggested 350°F
- up to more like 370-380°F, when they start to swell reassuringly, or up around 400°F when they really
Giving them a few prods as they start swelling seems to help them along,
but you need to scoop the crisps out of the oil just as soon
as they float to the surface
or they'll immediately start to burn.
Curiously my wasabi-flavoured crisps just wouldn't puff up effectively at all -
even at the higher temperature, though they tasted
Given that they were exactly the same recipe, just with the wasabi added, it's hard to see why not,
possibly my original mixture was too wet, possibly I could try using wasabi
powder rather than paste,
but I definitely need to work on them before they're ready for prime time!
Here are some ideas for improving your cracker puffing experience I've seen on t'intertubes:
- Add baking powder
to the flour mixture for extra puff.
- Really knead the dough for 10 minutes or more until it becomes firm but silky smooth.
- Double-fry the crackers,
first at a slightly lower temperature so they puff up just a little, then at shimmering heat to really expand them.
adding cassava flour (or potato starch works) just as well, if not better.
- I suppose I might have dried them at too high a temperature
making the crisps too hard - is that even possible?
Prawn Crackers - Ish
Oh and I bought my dehydrator just for this!
Makes a dehydrator-load: Enough for 4-6
- 8 oz (250g) prawns or shrimp, weighed after shelling and de-veining
- 8 oz (250g) tapioca starch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teasoon sugar
- scant ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon MSG
- 4 tablespoons wasabi paste
Peel and de-vein the prawns (or shrimp) and blend in a food processor to a smooth paste with the wasabi paste (if using).
Remove to a mixing bowl, add the tapioca flour and salt, pepper, MSG and sugar (if using).
Knead by hand or with a dough hook until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
You may need to start things off by hand in any case, and you also might need to add a little water to get this going,
but be warned - a little water goes a long way!
Roll the dough into a nice log shape, get your steamer going, then put the log on a greased plate or piece of foil in the basket,
and steam over a high heat for 35-60 minutes.
Chill uncovered overnight in the fridge (wrap in foil and freeze to firm them up too if you like) then slice thinly about 1mm using a mandoline.
Dry in the sun (!) or buy a dehydrator and dry for 18 hours on the lowest setting 35°C (apparently).
Deep fry the crackers in very hot oil until they puff up mightily.