This Malaysian Fried Butter Shrimp/Prawn is savory, sweet, spicy, and enjoyed by many! Topped with buttery egg floss and aromatic curry leaves.
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Seafood has always been and still is a big part of my foodie life. I grew up eating all kinds of seafood cooked in so many different delicious ways. Malaysia, where I’m from, is a multi-racial country and this diversity translates in the many mouthwatering dishes offered.
One of my favorite seafood dishes that is traditionally a Chinese dish, is the Fried Butter Prawns. This is an immensely popular dish in Malaysia and you will almost always find it on the menu at Chinese restaurants. Whenever my family and I go out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant this is a guaranteed order.
The prawns are lightly seasoned and deep fried with its shell that makes it crispy and so delicious. This dish is topped with seasoned egg floss that is deep fried in butter which gives it an extra crunch, and so tasty when eaten with white rice.
Since moving to Chicago, I find myself missing this seafood dish from time to time. It’s so simple but yet full of flavor. Although it took me a few tries over the years, I successfully made my own version of this dish. I’m so excited to share this childhood favorite recipe as part of my 5 Butter Based Recipes For 5 Days series with all of you!
SHRIMP vs PRAWN
Up until recently, I’ve been ignorant and never knew there was a difference between these two! I just thought that shrimp was a term that is more commonly used here in the US instead of prawn (which is actually true to a certain extent).
Besides the difference in anatomy, shrimps are mostly found in seawater. On the other hand, prawns are bigger and mostly found in fresh water. Well, color me surprised!
Regardless, either one can be used for this recipe. If you can’t find fresh ones, the frozen type will work just as well. I recommend getting it with the head on. But if you’re not a fan or can only find the frozen headless ones, that’s perfectly fine too.
Notes for Malaysian Fried Butter Shrimp/Prawn
Curry leaves and Thai Chilli
Curry leaves and Thai chilli are used for extra flavor in this dish. Adjust the amount of Thai chilli based on your heat preference.
Some of these ingredients may not be as easily accessible to some people. Omitting this from the recipe is definitely okay. If you’d still like a bit of a curry kick and do not have curry leaves, you can add 1/4 tsp of curry powder to the egg mixture.
I fry the prawns/shrimps with the shell on. When fried the right way, the shell comes out crispy and so tasty. This is of course up to your preference. If you prefer to remove the shell beforehand, you may do so but I highly recommend you try eating it with the shell. Don’t worry, the shell is perfectly safe to be eaten! 🙂
To make the egg floss, I find that it’s best to use a sauce pan or a pan with a narrow base. It’s very important for you to drip the egg mixture very slowly into the hot melted butter towards the side that is on medium low heat. Don’t get impatient here, otherwise you’ll end up with a fried scrambled egg!
While this is happening, it is also extremely important for your other hand to keep stirring the egg mixture in the pan in a circular motion at a medium speed. This is to prevent the eggs from cooking as an omelette and to achieve the floss like texture. After all the mixture is in the pan, turn up the heat to medium.
You should keep stirring until the mixture bubbles up and turns golden. Once it changes color, drain the mixture from the oil with a sifter and let it rest for a few minutes before tossing it with the fried prawns/shrimps.
*Recipe and picture updated May 31st 2022.
*Day 1 of Shrimp Series.
How to make fried butter shrimp/prawn
Fried Butter Shrimp/Prawn
- 1/2 lb shrimp/prawn
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
Egg Floss Topping
- 1/3 cup oil
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 Thai chilli (minced)
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Clean the shrimp/prawn and pat dry. Leaving the shell on is optional but highly recommended.
- Add cornstarch, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well.
- Add the shrimp/prawn into the cornstarch mixture and make sure everything is coated.
- Fry the shrimp/prawn in very hot oil for 2-3 minutes for each side. Remove from oil.
- Optional: After 1-2 minutes, refry shrimp/prawn to make it crispy.
Egg Floss Topping
- Add salt, sugar and pepper to the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk it until smooth and creamy.
- Mince the Thai chilli. Amount used should be based on heat preference.
- In a sauce pan on medium low heat, add butter. Once it melts and is hot; with one hand, slowly drip the egg yolk mixture into the pan while stirring it continuously with your other hand at a medium speed.
- Add Thai chilli and curry leaves. Keep stirring until the mixture bubbles up. Turn heat up to medium and let it continue cooking until turns golden.
- Drain the egg floss from the oil and let it rest for a few minutes. Mix the egg floss with the fried shrimp/prawn and serve immediately. Best eaten with white rice. Enjoy!