Okay…I know what you are thinking. Oatmeal is for breakfast. You can probably see the combination of oatmeal and butter, but oatmeal and prawns ? Perhaps they sound anything but appealing to you if you are not familiar with this dish. Butter oats prawn or known as (mai phien xia) weren’t something that I’d ever eaten in Indonesia either. So when the first time a friend brought me to this seafood place in Malaysia few years ago and ordered one of their famous dishes, which is Butter oats prawn, I got hooked until today. It is one of their famous dishes for reasons. My mom told me that she had this dish too while she was in Singapore and really liked it too. Mention this oatmeal butter prawns to majority of Asians and they will tell you how delicious this dish is.
So, you may ask now, what makes it so good ? (because you probably still have this image of eating oatmeal and prawns at the same time and that is just bizarre). The oatmeal isn’t cooked to how you would usually have it for breakfast. The oatmeal is stir-fried with butter and herb like curry leaves (which I’m so in love with), chili and corn flakes (for that extra crunch) until fragrant and crispy. The deep-fried shrimp are then mix in with the oatmeal mixture. This combination is AMAZINGLY good. Repeat, AMAZING!
My mom and I were kinda talking about it and we both just brainstormed on the recipe. So, I decided to give it a try. My husband absolutely loves this dish. I highly highly recommend this dish myself.
- 1 lb of medium to large shrimp (shelled and deveined, you can leave the heads of the prawns on for presentation if you like)
- 2-3 mixture of green and red bird’s eye chilis- seeded and finely chopped (feel free to substitute with serrano or jalapeno peppers if you can’t find bird’s eye chilis)
- About 15 curry leaves
- Peanut oil or grape-seed oil for deep-frying
- 4 oz of butter (whole stick)
- 1 cup of plain old-fashion oatmeal
- ½ cup slightly crushed cornflakes
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp milk powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat some oil for deep-frying in a deep pot, enough to submerge the prawns in the oil. Deep-fry the prawns until pink and golden. Place on top of paper towel
- In a bowl, combine the oatmeal, cornflakes, sugar and milk powder. In another skillet, melt the butter. Add in the chili and curry leaves and stir-fry until fragrant. Add in the oatmeal mixture and continue to stir-fry for about 1 minute. Add the prawns into the mixture and stir everything to combine. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Have a taste on the oatmeal mixture and adjust by adding more salt and/or sugar to your liking. It should be salty, buttery and slightly sweet
- Dish out to serving platter and serve immediately with rice as part of multi-course meal