How to cook cereal prawns
Sunday, April 29, 2012
3:07 AM

As a kid, my parents would always order this dish whenever we have seafood zi char for dinner. Along with other dishes like Chilli Crab, Sambal KangKong, Lala and Stingray, we could never miss out on tasty and lightly-spiced cereal prawns. The crispiness and sweetness of Nestum fried with fresh giant prawns was a great accompaniment to fluffy steamed rice. While all the other dishes would be very hot and spicy, this mild prawn dish balanced the flavours perfectly. I could just eat my plain rice with heaping spoons of the fried cereal alone!

When I first cooked Cereal prawns I was overwhelmed with joy by the familiar taste of it. Today I will share with you how I prepared it, which was surprisingly easy and took only 20 minutes cooking time. Although the ingredients may be slightly difficult to find, I assure you that the end result is completely worth it.


Serves 2
Prep time 10 mins
Cooking time 20 mins

  • 8-10 large prawns (250g) - shells intact and de-veined
  • 100g Nestum cereal (*see Note #2 below)
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves - stems removed
  • 2 chilli padi - chopped
    (Adjust amount according to the level of spiciness you can take)
  • 2 tbsp instant milk powder or Horlicks (*see Note #3)
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tsp MSG (Monosodium glutamate)  
For the batter
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 2 tbsp bread flour
  • 1/2 egg  - beaten
  • 2 salted egg yolks

1. Prepare the ingredients. Combine the cereal, milk powder, icing sugar and MSG in a bowl and stir to mix. If using, rinse salted egg yolks once in cold water. In a bowl, break down the yolks into small pieces with a fork.
2. Put the prawns in a large bowl and pour the beaten egg in. Roll the prawns to coat them with egg mixture. Add the flour and continue rolling the prawns to coat them evenly with batter.
3. Heat the oil in a wok on medium heat to about 160 degrees Celcius. Gently lower the prawns into the oil and deep fry them for about 2 minutes to achieve a lovely golden colour. Do not overcrowd the wok. Fry in batches if you have to.
4. Remove the prawns and drain them on paper towels. Discard the oil.
5. In the same wok, melt the butter. Throw in the curry leaves, chilli padi and salted egg yolks. Stir-fry until fragrant, for about a minute or so.
6. Lower the heat to a medium to low setting. Add in the cereal mixture and fry for 1 minute.
7. Add the deep fried prawns into the wok. Stir to coat the prawns with cereal. Switch off the heat and continue stirring. The cereal will continue to cook in the hot wok.
8. Serve immediately with warm, steamed white rice.

De-veining prawns - use a pair of scissors to cut along the shell of the prawn to remove vein

Deep frying prawns in batter

Draining prawns

Frying curry leaves, chillies and salted egg yolks in butter

Cereal prawns - ready to eat

Cooking notes

#1 You may remove the shells of the prawns according to your preference. Personally I like mine with their shells on, as they are much tastier that way. But if you bought your prawns deshelled in a bag, that is fine too.
#2 Nestum is a type of cereal by the brand Nestlé. In Singapore, restaurants commonly use Nestum for cereal prawns. However, if this is not readily available in your local supermarket, a suitable substitute would be Quaker Oats.
#3 The milk powder gives the dish a faint creamy aftertaste. Don't worry if you do not like milk, the milky taste in the end result is not overwhelming at all. Do not skip this step! It is important that you add in milk as it completes the flavour of Cereal Prawns. Horlicks is a good alternative. It is a lovely malt drink that I have all the time on cold rainy nights. (Special thanks to friend tummytay for her ingenious idea of using Horlicks instead of milk powder! It really gave the dish a wonderful boost.)
#4 Do not use normal sugar instead of icing sugar as the frying process lacks the moisture needed to dissolve grains of sugar completely.
#5 You may use plain flour or all-purpose flour instead of bread flour.
#6 If you would rather not use MSG, just replace it with salt.
#7 Remember: when frying cereal, keep the heat low as cereal burns very easily! (Unfortunately I learned this the hard way.)


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Thursday, April 26, 2012
1:31 AM


Pardon the simplistic template. Just started using Blogger again after 5 years and I've completely forgotten how to edit HTMLs to make a blog pretty. I'll go ahead and add more details when I've figured out how to...

I have decided to start a food blog to record recipes of food I've cooked throughout my uni life. Being in the UK for the past 2 years, I started learning how to cook food I miss from home and to my pleasant surprise, they have all turned out to be more than merely satisfactory. Of course, I didn't start experimenting from scratch - thanks to Youtube and the other successive food blogs before mine, I learned many lessons while lying in bed for hours on end reading and watching cooking tutorials. Particular thanks to myasiankitchenNY, noobcook, rasamalaysia, MyWokLife and joysthaifood for never disappointing in Asian food recipes, and Youtubers cookingwithdog and runnyrunny999 for their awesome and easy-to-follow Japanese cuisine recipes. By combining these recipes from different cooks and adding my own touch to them, I must say I produced many delicious and hearty dishes for my friends and myself.

My recipes will be written in the simplest step-by-step form so you guys can follow them easily. Ingredient lists will be made as compact as possible so you can do what I do when I see a particular recipe online that I want to try - I use my phone to take a snapshot of it and it is retained for easy reference the next time I go grocery shopping! Also, as you know, household chores are all about saving a step and cutting cost, so if I have any tips or shortcuts (which do not compromise on the quality of food) I will definitely add them in at the end of each recipe too. I will attempt to take as many pictures as I can but please pardon the quality of my photographs as they will be taken by my noob iPhone 4 camera. Every once in a while I will throw in food reviews of yummy stuff I eat when I go travelling or when I am back home in Singapore to visit. Hopefully these will help you decide on which places to go for different dishes that you crave!

Lastly, please know that I am an amateur cook and in no way am I implying that I am like any one of the above-mentioned foodie writers. I do not have the experience of these authors in writing food blogs, so if you see anything you do not like or have any suggestions on how I can improve, feel free to comment (nicely).

Till the next post, bon appetit!

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