Chinese prawn crackers, also known as prawn chips and shrimp chips, are those tasty prawn-flavored chips (sometimes in pastel colors) that puff up when deep fried.
Prawn crackers are an easy snack food to prepare for both kids and adults because you just fry the dehydrated chips purchased from an Asian store. Once they hit the hot oil, they puff up into a delicious treat in a matter of seconds with a texture and flavor that goes very well with beer.
For best results, don't fry too many of the prawn crackers at once, and have a wire strainer or slotted spoon at the ready to quickly remove them from the hot oil. For good results, try frying six to seven crackers at a time. More than that and it's difficult to quickly remove them from the wok before they start to burn.
- 4 ounces prawn-flavored chips (such as Ching Kee brand)
- 4 cups oil (for deep frying, or as needed)
Heat the oil to 350 F/182 C in a wok or deep-sided skillet or Dutch oven.
To find out if the oil is hot enough, either use a deep-fry thermometer to test the temperature or place a cooking chopstick or a wooden spoon upright in the middle of the wok. If bubbles start forming around the chopstick or wooden spoon immediately, the oil is ready.
Place several chips in the hot oil, separating them if needed. Deep fry the chips for a few seconds until they puff up (the process takes less than 5 seconds), then remove the chips and drain on paper towels. Lay out a fresh paper towel for each batch of chips before deep frying.
Prawn crackers taste best served warm. If not serving immediately, store in a sealed container and reheat briefly in a 250 F/120 C before serving.