Butter Prawns

Butter prawns has got to be one of Malaysia’s finest gastronomic contributions. The presence of Malay, Chinese and Indian cooking methods and ingredients is very symbolic of the various cultures here.
A common item on the menu of most Chinese seafood restaurants, butter prawns is one of those dishes that has a huge fan group, both in and out of Malaysia.
Despite its name, the key ingredient is not just butter but the curry leaves used!
Curry leaves, a familiar ingredient in Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine, gives an exotic twist to the creamy flavours present in the curry, with a small amount of chillies offering little bursts of spiciness.
The strong flavours and aroma from the curry leaves tend to blanket the overall dish, allowing the unique set of flavours interwoven with each other to surface and make up the very essence of this dish.

Fresh curry leaves work best, as the quality of their fragrance deteriorates with time. The curry leaves have to be fried in shallow oil, where the high temperature shrivels them and effectively unleashes their flavours.
They will acquire a crispy texture once ready, allowing you to chew them with the prawns. Apart from acting as a flavouring agent, curry leaves also contain calcium, iron and vitamin C
The butter absorbs the myriad flavours present in this dish, mainly because it is a type of fat. It’s the same concept as leaving an opened tub of butter in the fridge with some garlic — after a few hours, the butter will definitely smell like garlic.
In this dish, the butter sponges up the distinct curry leaf taste and the fresh prawn flavour, coating the prawns evenly.I have used daisy margarine which provided sufficient salt for the recipe.Therefore ,I had not added salt to this dish.  . If you are using margarine with less salt then by all means season it accordingly. Butter prawns are usually served with their head and shell intact.

A generous scattering of egg floss  and the curry leaves completes the garnishing. If you’re craving for a very Malaysian taste, then butter prawns is the way to go!

300gm medium size prawns,washed and trimmed

For egg floss
3-4 tbsp margarine/butter
1 tbsp oil
4 egg yolks (beaten lightly)

Ingredients B
1 tbsp chopped garlic
4 to 5 sprigs curry leaves
7 cili padi(bird's eye chilli),chopped

½  a chicken cube or 1 tsp chicken stock powder (There are Maggi and Knorr brand available here, I used Maggi chicken cube)
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp white pepper powder
2 to 3 tbsp evaporated milk

Preparing egg floss: Heat a wok, melt margarine/butter with a tbsp of oil.This is to avoid the margarine to change colouring when melting.Once the margarine had melted, pour the beaten egg yolks bit by bit while stirring it continuously to get fine shreds of yolk.Keep stirring in medium heat until you have finished pouring all the egg yolks.In between there will be bubbles ,but keep stirring as you want a golden crisp floss.After a while , the bubbles will lessen and the egg yolks will turn into beautiful golden colour.Close heat. Sieve it. Keep aside the floss.Let it drain excess oil .
In a clean wok, mix in the leftover melted margarine(used to prepare the floss) with ½ cup of oil . Deep fry the drained prawns in the oil until it change colour.Drain in a paper towel. Discard the oil.
Heat a wok, add in 1 tbsp margarine and let it melt, to it add in chopped garlic. Saute until aromatic, to it  add in cili padi and curry leaves. Saute further until the  leaves turn crisp slightly. Add in the prawns and give a few stirs. Season with pepper powder, sugar and crumble in the chicken cube. Again stir to combine.Pour in the evaporated milk. Keep stirring until the evaporated milk is well combined with the prawns and stir fry until very dry.You can add in the egg floss at this stage and stir  to combine with the prawns or you can dish out and sprinkle the egg floss as topping. Either way is acceptable. I have dished the prawns on a serving plate and sprinkle the egg floss on top. Garnish with some crisp curry leaves and chopped cili padi. Serve hot.


  1. nice recipe..

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  2. Absolutly mouthwatering by seeing these crisp prawns. Delicious!

    today's post:

  3. yummy food. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Omg, highly irresistible butter prawns,lipsmacking here.


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