Krupuk

Krupuk, kerupuk, or kroepoek in (Indonesia); Keropok in (Malaysia); bánh phồng tôm in Vietnam; prawn crackers in British English, shrimp chips or shrimp crackers in American English; is a popular snack in parts of East and Southeast Asia. Krupuk are deep fried crackers made from flattened-out prawns.

Types

Countless varieties of krupuk exist, using various varieties of seafood. Sometimes, they are even made with fruits, nuts or vegetables, although these are not common, and cannot commonly be found except in southeast Asia. Indonesia has perhaps the largest variety of krupuk. Sidoarjo in East Java and Garut in West Java are major producers of krupuk, and many recipes originate from there. A common variation is made from melinjo (gnetum gnemon) nuts, these are called "emping".

In the Malaysia, krupuk are usually made by grinding fish, prawn or a vegetable into a paste, mixing with sago and then deep-frying it. It comes in three main forms: "keropok lekor" which is long and chewy, "keropok losong" (steamed) and "keropok keping" which is thin and crispy. It is frequently served with dipping sauces.

Only prawn based krupuk are commonly available in the west. These are the most familiar krupuk to Westerners. These crackers are usually white or light brown in colour. Despite the high amount of shrimps used, any shrimp taste is usually quite subtle. Perhaps the most common form is the Indonesian "krupuk udang", made with dried shrimp and hence a light shade of pink.

In Chinese cuisine, prawn crackers tend to be more colourful (including shades of white, pale pink, green and blue), light, non-spicy and crispy. Prawn crackers are a traditional complimentary side dish and may accompany Chinese takeaway in Australia, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Shrimp chips are usually served with roasted chicken dishes in Chinese restaurants.

Preparation

Krupuk are made by mixing prawns, flour and water. The mixture is rolled out and left outside to dry in the sun for a bit. Once dry, they are deep-fried in oil. In only a few seconds they expand from thumb-sized semi-transparent chips to white fluffy crackers, much like popcorn, as the small bubbles of air trapped in the flexible chips expand. If left in the open air for more than a few days (depending on humidity), they start to soften and become chewy and therefore are ideally consumed within a few days of being fried. Storing the crackers in a refrigerator, or airtight container, will preserve the crispness for over a week. However, the best solution for soggy crackers is to place them under a lit grill, as not only will the crispness return as new, but the procedure is ideal for gently warming the product. Packets of unfried prawn crackers may be purchased in oriental stores, or stores that specialise in Asian cuisine. In the Netherlands, Suriname and Australia they are also widely available in general supermarkets.

Most varieties of krupuk can also be prepared in a microwave oven. A few raw krupuk chips can be cooked in less than a minute in the microwave oven. This will usually cause them to cook and expand in a way similar to when they are deep fried. For small quantities, this method is less messy, faster and healthier, as the krupuk do not become as oily.

ee also

*Shrimp toast

External links

* [http://kuali.com/recipes/viewrecipe.asp?r=1351 Recipe] for making home-made krupuk crackers.


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