Malaysian Butter Prawns Recipe
Look, if you read the needed ingredients below you wouldn’t think this butter prawns recipe is Asian at all because they are all quite straight forward. But then it’s only the curry leaves that make the difference here, believe me. These flavorful leaves are also pretty hard to find, I agree. Since I happened to walk past an Asian supermarket not long ago, I bought some for this recipe. I dried the remaining leaves for later.
Curry leaves are quite peppery in taste and have this very subtle flavor. Can you substitute them by curry powder then? No, these two have nothing in common. My local supermarket sometimes sells Thai basil. Maybe that’s a more suitable plan B here.
My creamy butter prawns recipe: a Malaysian recipe for prawns in a creamy curry leaf sauce… Serve these prawns with rice.
Have you ever wondered what the most popular recipe here on my website is? Well, these butter prawns! The hubs and I adored this Malaysian dish. We served these creamy butter prawns over a bowl of steamed rice. Perfect.
Thanks Jackie for this fab idea!
Delicious Malaysian butter prawns!
- 24 prawns (fresh or frozen)
- 4 fresh curry leaves
- 1 cup evaporated milk (240 ml)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 medium red chili
- 2 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp caster sugar or palm sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp chicken bouillon cube crumbled
- frying oil
First of all thaw the prawns if you use frozen ones.
- Remove the heads if still attached (you can also make a delicious soup with them). Slice the spine because you need to remove the black vein. Don't peel the prawns! Rinse them, then let them drain on kitchen paper. Add the prawns and cornstarch to a bowl.
Stir until the prawns are coated evenly. Pour some frying oil in a heavy skillet or wok. Place it over high heat until piping hot. Then add the prawns. Quickly stir fry them for 3 minutes until pink and a little crunchy on the outside but still raw inside.
Transfer the fried prawns onto kitchen paper to drain. In another non-stick pan add the butter and place it over medium heat until melted. Then add the garlic paste, curry leaves and chili.
Stir and cook for about 2 minutes. Don't burn the garlic. Then also add the evaporated milk and sugar.
Stir again and cook for another minute. Add the fried prawns back to the pan. Season with the crumbled chicken bouillon cube.
Finally give the prawns a good stir and then cook them for 5 more minutes until the sauce starts to thicken lightly. Check the seasoning and add extra crumbled chicken bouillon or sugar. Then transfer the prawns and sauce onto deep plates and serve.
I hope that you enjoyed this Malaysian butter prawns recipe then! Do you love prawns? How often do you prepare prawns at home? I always have prawns in my freezer because prawns make a gorgeous last-minute dinner. Just stir fry them, add some colorful vegetables, some fish sauce and oyster sauce maybe. Sesame seeds. Done.
I prefer to buy raw unpeeled prawns, just love them. Why? First of all, cooking them while the head and scales are still attached keeps them way more flavorful. Once that lovely juice inside the heads starts to cook, you get that wonderful prawn smell. If I just need peeled prawns, I prefer to peel them and keep the heads aside for other recipes. You would be amazed how many dishes you can prepare by just using the prawn heads. Some of my favorites: my spaghetti in prawn bisque sauce, prawn croquettes and prawn head soup.
The simple secret behind that creamy rich flavor is to make a broth with the heads and blend them as fine as you can into a pulp, strain the whole lot and use the prawn liquid as a base for your soups or sauces. I can assure you: you will love it. This prawn broth is so rich and creamy but without adding any cream or butter or fatty dairy. Try it! You will be amazed…
How To Thaw Prawns
I usually take them out of the freezer the night before I plan to cook them because I like to let them thaw slowly in the fridge. That’s the best way to do it. But then what if you need them quickly for a last minute dinner idea or whatever recipe you want to use them for and they are not thawed at all?
Good question. Quickest way would be to defrost them in the microwave. What if you don’t have one? A couple of ideas I came across while googling the same question. Place the frozen prawns in a colander and rinse them under cold running tap water for a couple of minutes. Transfer the frozen prawns to a large bowl and submerge them in cold water until thawed.
Opinions differ however when it comes to flavor and texture. Some say thawing prawns quickly doesn’t change a thing, others claim it’s bad because it makes the prawn texture grainy once cooked. Have you any experience with this. I’d love to know!
Mind you: keep an eye on food safety once you have thawed the shrimp. Don’t let them sit in your fridge for more than one day once thawed because prawns (any any other type of seafood really ) don’t keep for long at all. That’s why they are frozen mainly. Use thawed prawns within 24 hours. I don’t have to tell you what happens to prawns that are off and what it does to your body once you have eaten them. I the prawns are thawed but you are not using them immediately, keep them in the fridge at all costs. Avoid having prawns laying around in your warm kitchen or in sunlight. Heat and warm air will bring the bacteria to life that are still present. Place them in the fridge to avoid any nasty case of food poisoning!
What Is The Difference Between Prawns And Shrimp?
Have you ever wondered what the difference between prawns and shrimp is? Is there a difference to start with anyway? Yes, apparently there is. Don’t worry because I also had to google that question to find the answer. Here’s what I understand the difference is all about. Prawns are larger, shrimp are smaller. The names prawns and shrimp are commonly used interchangeably. Fact is that they are both seafood and look and taste very similar. Once they are both peeled there’s no way telling which one is a prawn or a shrimp.
In addition the difference can be seen when you look at the legs. Prawns and shrimp both have five pairs of legs. Look closely now to see the tiny claws at the end of the thin legs. How many can you count? Can you see four (two pairs) claws, then it is a shrimp. Prawns have six (three pairs) claws.
Does it matter which ones you buy for a specific recipe? Not at all. Prawns and shrimp both taste the same.