Vietnamese Prawn Crackers (Banh Phong Tom)

Vietnamese Prawn Crackers (Banh Phong Tom)

Vietnamese Prawn Crackers (Banh Phong Tom) - Also known as shrimp chips or kroepoek (in Indonesian) or keropok (in Malaysian), these feather-light wafers are delicious for snacks and as accompaniments to Vietnames-style salads. When you buy them, they are translucent, reddish-pink or white, hard, thin discs; they must be fried in hot oil before serving. As soon as they are added to the hot oil, they will almost immediately puff up to triple their size.

dried prawn crackers

vegetable oil for frying

Heat 5cm / 2 inches of oil in a large frying pan over moderate heat. When the oil is quite hot, but not smoking, add the crackers, a few at a time, and cook until they puff up. Immediately turn them over and keep them immersed in the oil, using a slotted spoon, for 10-15 seconds longer. Do not let them color, or they will taste bitter. Remove and drain on paper towels while you cook the rest.

Serve them the same day they are cooked, or store them in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

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