You could subtitle this post “Or, a recipe that uses all that fresh coconut meat you just produced, because you followed my previous post’s instructions like the awesome person that you are.” Yes, it’s a shrimp curry that features fresh coconut. This is loosely inspired by South Indian spices and ingredients, and requires a medium amount of work because, hell, I like doing work in my kitchen. Why do you have to have everything done so fast?
Pad Thai: everyone’s favourite Thai dish. So it seems anyway – I even know some people who eat Pad Thai to the exclusion of all other Thai dishes, ever. It’s not too hard to see why, though, since Pad Thai is such a great balance of flavours; there’s so much going on that it satisfies on multiple levels. It’s the sauce that does it – that sauce that is so mysterious at first taste – and it’s dead easy to reproduce perfectly.
Like most humans, I get deep primal satisfaction from cooking with fire. Grilling over wood or charcoal makes me feel like how I imagine the ape from 2001: A Space Odyssey felt after he discovered he could use a large bone to club his enemies to death – like I have finally obtained the necessary power to do anything I want.
So I bought this for the balcony. Yes, for 29.99, this 14″-diameter Colourful Portable Charcoal BBQ has empowered me with our species’ ancestral gift of Fire. My first choice for what to apply this Fire to? Shrimps. Shrimps? Yes, because I don’t love shrimps, unless they’re grilled. Then, I would bash your skull in with a buffalo femur to eat just one of them.
In Malaysia (and other places in the region), these are usually found as roadside snacks. Some guy will have a giant wok full of oil on a cart, and will fry up a batch of these (or other similar things) to order. I’ve never had them from the source; my first experience with them came from a package of pre-mixed cucur flour purchased in a Malay-district shopping mall grocery store in Singapore. Just add water and deep-fry. Making them from scratch isn’t much more complicated, though.
These are “shrimp fritters”. Udang is the Malay word for “prawn” if I remember right. Cucur (“choo-churr”) is the word meaning “fritter”, I guess. What this recipe makes is basically a thick batter full of shrimp and spices that you’ll drop spoonfuls of into hot oil.
Ingredients (serves 2 as meal, 4 as snack):
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne chili powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 shallot or 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- 8 shrimps, raw, thawed, peeled, deveined, tails removed and rough chopped
- the green parts of one green onion
- vegetable oil for deep-frying
Serve with: cucumber slices, chili sauce, peanut sauce