When I saw one one member (Ms. Audrey nlk) posted her homemade prawn crackers (“Keropok”) in my Facebook Group, I read her recipe with interest and I have decided to try it out yesterday.
When I was young, I have seen people preparing keropok and dried the keropok under the sun for days until it is very hard like rock… When I started preparing yesterday, the first thing that my mother in law asked was where am I going to dry the keropok? Since I am living in an apartment, it is not easy to sun dry my keropok She asked further: “ in the corridor or void deck of the block?”.. I told her very frankly that I do not know and I will modify my steps along the way……
Since this is the first trial, I am not willing to spend too much time and money on the “experiment”. Not that I doubt the member’s recipe, but I was constrained by the traditional method of sun drying the crackers. Everybody will know, in Singapore’s environment where space and time is always a constraint, I am not confidence that I can succeed in my trial.
To cut short the preparation, instead of using fresh prawn meat or fish meat as suggested by Ms. Audrey (the original recipe provider), I have purchased the ready made fish paste from the supermarket. 400 grams of fish paste only cost me less than SGD4 but it saved me lots of time to mince the fish meat.
When I reached home, I started my trial, mixed the fish paste with equal amount of tapioca flour as suggested by the original recipe, shape it into a long bar, steamed for 45 minutes or until cooked, freeze it lightly until it is easier to slice, dry in the oven for about 1 hour and proceed to frying.
It works. The time when the crackers expanded in the hot oil, I was really happy as this short cut method seems to work.. Subsequently, one of the members highlighted that microwave oven can also be used. I tried and it works.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
- 400 grams of ready made minced fish paste (or fresh fish meat or prawn meat)
- 400 grams of tapioca flour
- Some salt
- Some seasonings of choice such as mushroom concentrate, chicken stock or seafood stock of your choice
- Dashes of white pepper
- Some permitted food colouring (optional)
Note that most ready made fish paste are very salty and it depends on brands. Therefore, you will need to use your judgement to adjust the sweetness and saltiness to you likings.
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Lightly greased a tray suitable for steaming.
- Mix all the ingredients together as well combined as possible (remember to taste a little of the mixture, spit out later). Greased your hand with some cooking oil, shape the paste into a long bar and steamed the bar for about 45 minutes under high heat or until the bars have hardened and looks slightly transparent.
- Cooled and lightly coloured the exterior of the bar into red colour with some permitted food colouring (this step is optional and I am doing it to make it resemble traditional look of the keropok). Freeze the bar in the freezer for about 1 hour. The main purpose of freezing is to facilitate slicing. Once slicing can be done, you can proceed to next step.
- Slice the bar as thinly as possible with about 2 –3 mm thickness. Put it in a baking tray and oven bake it at 100 degree Celsius for about 1-1.5 hours. For every 20 minutes, stir the cracker slices ensuring it is evenly baked. If time permits, you can bake until your desired harden texture. Alternatively, you can dry under the sun or air dry for days in your house compound until it is almost transparent. The less moisture content you have in the crackers, the crispier it will be.
- To taste the readiness, you can either deep fried some prawn crackers in some hot oil or microwave in the microwavable oven for about 30 seconds. If the crackers expands in the hot oil or in the microwavable bowl, become crispy when cool, the crackers is considered as ready.
I am happy with this adventure but not my mother in law. She cannot believe that this will be nice because the entire preparation process is too fast to her belief. Please be our judges, tell me whether you are able to accept this simpler method of crackers preparation. Lastly, thanks again to Ms. Audrey Nlk for sharing this recipe with the members of my Group.
Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.
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