When I was a kid, one of my first thoughts on the morning of Chinese New Year was of fried prawn crackers, also known as fried shrimp chips or “Ha Peen” in Cantonese. To some, this may sound exaggerated, but for a fat child like me who had an early appreciation for good food, it was the truth.
I never missed an occasion to observe the making of prawn crackers, often known as shrimp chips. These odd chips resembled plastic craft pieces from second grade art class at first glance, but when dipped in oil, they transformed into the most irresistible treats a child could imagine.
Prawn crackers can be found at any Chinese or Asian grocery store, but they are also sold online.
- 2 cups of vegetable oil for frying
- 1 box of shrimp or prawn flavored chips
- The oil should be heated to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and the temperature should be kept constant using the burner. For the best frying results, keep an eye on the oil temperature with a thermometer.
- Line a baking sheet with paper towels. When cooking the shrimp chips, you’ll also need a spider or a big spoon.
- The recommended number of chips to drop from the spider into the heated oil is 8 to 10. Gently mix them together. The chips will quickly swell and rise to the surface of the oil after being soaked.
- Before they become burned, use your spider to rapidly remove them from the oil. Remove as much oil as you can by shaking them, then place them on the prepared baking sheet.
- The chips should be fried in batches until you have enough for serving and then placed in a serving basket after the Fried Prawn Crackers have cooled.