Malaysian Butter Prawns (shrimp)

Butter Prawns have always been one of my favourite dishes and I finally decided to try it. Combining feedback from my mom and a few recipes books, I am pretty sure I have this dish exactly the way I want it.

Shopping List

  • 2 lb large shrimp (with the shells, no heads and de-veined)
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 red bird’s eye chilies (whole)
  • 3 sprigs (or a handful) of curry leaves (Do not use bay leaves. Curry leaves can be found in any Indian grocery store)
  • 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder (OPTIONAL) (readily available in Indian grocery store)
  • 3 – 5  cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of grated coconut (fresh or frozen)


Clean the shrimp by rubbing it down with salt and rinsing with cold water. Do not remove the shell but be sure to slit the back to remove the veins

Pat it dry, place in large bowl and add the turmeric. Mix it well so the turmeric covers the shrimp.

In a fryer or a pot, heat the oil so we are ready to deep fry the shrimp.   Once the oil is ready, go ahead and deep fry the shrimp. Remove and place in bowl.

In a wide wok or fish-pan, dry fry the coconut. Once the coconut browns (it takes a while to brown and then it goes fast so be careful not to burn the coconut). Add the butter, chillies, curry leaves, garlic and fry it for around 2 minutes. Go ahead and add the shrimp, sugar, soy sauce and wine.

Cook on a high flame for around 1 -2 mins. Remove from pan and serve immediately with steamed rice.

This might be messy when eating. We always have a small bowl of water mixed with lemon or lime juice beside our plates to clean our fingers. We also have a few bowls for the discarded shell. This is a great option for people who truly enjoy seafood and know each other well!!