If you're sick of your usual appetizers and snacks, consider giving shrimp chips a try. Yes, they're a little different than, say, potato chips, but this crunchy snack is definitely worth a taste if you've never had the unique experience of eating a prawn cracker.
What Are Shrimp Chips?
Shrimp chips are a deep-fried snack popular in some Asian countries. They are also called prawn crackers or shrimp crackers. These crispy little treats are primarily made of starch, prawn, vegetable oil, and sometimes monosodium glutamate (MSG). While you might be able to find them at your local Costco, it's easier to find this type of treat in Asian markets.
While shrimp chips are generally made by mixing prawns, tapioca flour, and water, the Philippine version of shrimp chips -- kropek -- is usually made from flour, powdered prawns or fish, spices, and water.
Meanwhile, in southern Vietnam, they eat bánh ph?"ng tôm. These chips are made from ground shrimp, arrowroot flour, tapioca flour, onion, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, cracked black pepper, and salt, Wikipedia notes.
How Do You Make Them?
If you've got prawns, tapioca starch, and salt, you're off to a good start. Lots of recipes online tell you to throw these together in a dough before cooking, cutting the chips up, and letting them dry after being fried in hot oil like canola oil in your deep fryer or wok.
Are Shrimp Chips Healthy?
They're certainly not the healthiest thing you could have for a snack, but they're not the worst either.
Calbee, a common shrimp chip brand, lists the nutrition facts on its website. Their prawn crackers have 230mg sodium, 130 calories, 20g total carbohydrates, less than 1g dietary fiber, and a serving size of 28g.
Their ingredients include wheat flour (so they're not gluten-free), palm oil, shrimp, cornstarch, sugar, salt, leavening, and several other, more minor items.
If you're looking for the right puff-up cracker snack, shrimp chips should definitely end up on your grocery or Amazon list. Try them soon!