Shrimp Chips, also known as prawn chips or prawn crackers, are a light and crispy, savory snack. You only need 3 ingredients and about 10 seconds to cook a batch, and they’re totally customizable!
Easy Shrimp Chips Recipe
I’m always up for something new and fun to eat, and these Shrimp Chips are my latest, greatest snack. They’re light and crispy and savory – and made with only 3 ingredients and about 10 seconds of cook time per batch!
Like potato chips are super popular here in the United States, shrimp chips are popular in southeast Asia. And their popularity is catching on here, as you’ll now see them on many Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant menus across the country.
And because they’re so crazy quick and easy to make at home, you can enjoy shrimp chips whenever the craving strikes – as a salty snack or a fun appetizer before an Asian meal. We like to sprinkle them with some dried chili or dip them in sweet chili sauce!
Why You’ll Love These Prawn Crackers
I’m always up for something new and fun to eat! Here’s why you’ll love these shrimp chips:
- Satisfying. Crispy, salty snacks are irresistible, am I right? These shrimp chips are definitely snack time satisfaction!
- Quick and easy. Shrimp chips take literally seconds to cook. Just heat up some oil and you’ll be eating this fresh, crispy snack in very quick fashion!
- Different. Chances are, you won’t find a bag of shrimp chips in the snack aisle at your local grocery store. I like that this snack is a little bit special.
- Magical?! Straight out of the package, before you cook them, shrimp chips grab your curiosity. They look like little shiny discs – you can buy white ones or colorful ones. And when you drop them into hot oil, it’s like magic – they instantly expand and puff up into a delightfully light and crispy snack!
- Very adaptable. See my suggestions below for what you can add to shrimp chips to give them an extra punch of flavor.
What Are Shrimp Chips?
Shrimp chips, or Chinese prawn crackers, consist of dried shrimp mixed with starchy tapioca flour. This mixture is ground into a fine powder and mixed with water to create a dough, then pressed into thin sheets, cut into rounds, and dried. (See the next photo, for what they look like!)
These dried shrimp chips are then packaged and sold, to be deep-fried by individuals in their own kitchens. You can buy them in a variety of colors, or keep it simple with white.
Shrimp chips can vary in flavor, but in general, they are lightly savory with a touch of sweet seafood flavor. Despite their name, they do not have a strong shrimp taste.
To cook, these dried rounds are very quickly fried in oil. As soon as they hit the hot oil, they expand and plump up into airy, crispy chips, a little bit like potato chips. 10 seconds is about all it takes to cook one batch!
You need just 3 ingredients to make these prawn crackers, plus an optional dipping sauce if you like. I’ve outlined these ingredients below.
Be sure to scroll to the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredient amounts.
- Uncooked prawn crackers – Uncooked prawn crackers are widely available in Asian markets. You can also find prawn crackers on Amazon.
- Canola oil – Use either canola oil or your favorite vegetable oil, just make sure it’s a neutral flavored oil that works well for deep-frying.
- Salt – I use coarse kosher salt to lightly season the shrimp chips after they’re fried. Check out the variations for more seasoning ideas.
And this is optional, but highly recommended. Make some sweet chili sauce or grab your favorite bottle from the store. It makes for a fun dip!
Try some of these variation suggestions below if you want to play around with this recipe:
- Use any color of prawn cracker. You can use this recipe with either the white or multicolor prawn crackers – they taste the same!
- Serve with different dips. Shrimp chips have a very light flavor so they’re a great base for any flavoring you like. If you want to keep them plain (I recommend a sprinkling of salt), try serving them with sweet chili sauce, sweet and sour sauce, peanut-soy dipping sauce, sweet oyster sauce, or General Tso sauce.
- Add flavoring to the chips. If you want to flavor the chips themselves, try sprinkling them with furikake, Chinese five spice, zaatar, or chili powder along with the salt in Step 3.
How To Make Shrimp Chips
Here’s my beyond-simple method for making shrimp chips:
- Heat the oil. Add 2” of oil to a large Dutch oven (or other deep, heavy pot) set over medium-high heat.
- Prepare a pan. Line a rimmed sheet pan with a layer of paper towels, or place a wire baking rack inside the sheet pan. Set it aside.
- Cook the prawn crackers. When the oil reaches 385° F, carefully add a small handful of prawn crackers (about 5-8 depending on the size of your Dutch oven). The crackers will puff up almost immediately. When they float to the top of the oil, after 5-10 seconds, remove them with a wire spider strainer or tongs and place them on the prepared sheet pan. Sprinkle with a bit of salt.
- Repeat. Cook as many prawn crackers as desired.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy right away, at their freshest best.
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips to help you make shrimp chips:
- Use neutral-flavored oil. You want to use a neutral-flavored oil such as canola or vegetable oil when you fry the shrimp chips so that the chips don’t take on any extra flavor that will compete with their own briny taste.
- Make sure the oil is fresh. Also, make sure that you use fresh oil. If your oil is older or rancid, it will definitely spoil the shrimp chips experience!
- Eat them right away. While you can certainly store any uneaten cooked chips, they will always taste best and have the best texture right after you make them.
- Flavor the chips any way you want! These chips are perfect when they’re made plain, as the recipe is written, and then dipped in sauces. But you can also add spices or other flavorings along with the salt. I often add a light dusting of chili powder.
What To Serve With Prawn Crackers
This is a beloved snack for those who celebrate the Chinese New Year, and just a great snack all-around! Here are a few suggestions for how to serve prawn crackers:
- With dips. You can dip shrimp chips in a variety of Asian flavored dips and sauces. Think peanut sauce, sweet and sour sauce, sweet oyster sauce, or General Tso sauce. Or go all-in on the seafood flavor and serve them with my mom’s cold shrimp dip!
- Alongside other Asian dishes. Serve as an appetizer or side dish when you make cashew chicken, honey walnut shrimp, or yaki udon. I also have many more Asian-inspired dishes to choose from.
- With soup. Serve a side of crispy shrimp chips with coconut curry chicken soup or Thai chicken soup.
- Add to dishes. You can even crumble them over dishes, for a crispy, salty texture and flavor. Try this with Chinese Chicken Salad or replace the panko breadcrumbs in the topping for my baked shrimp mac & cheese – YUM!
- In a snack mix. Make a savory snack mix with shrimp chips, salted nuts, pretzels, etc.
- During cocktail hour. A bowl of crispy shrimp chips, flavored with chili powder, is fun to serve with drinks, like a mojito, a margarita, or a bootleg cocktail. Or simply, a cold, crisp beer!
Can Prawn Chips Be Prepared In Advance?
Yes, you can make shrimp chips in advance, but they’ll always be at their crispiest, freshest best when consumed right away, or at least within a couple of hours.
If you have any leftovers, place cooled shrimp chips in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to a week.
- 2 ounces uncooked prawn crackers
- Canola oil, or other neutral oil (amount will depend on the size of your pot)
- 1 teaspoon Morton kosher salt
- ½ cup sweet chili sauce , optional for dipping
- Add 2” of canola oil to a large Dutch oven (or other deep, heavy pot) set over medium-high heat.
- Line a rimmed sheet pan with a layer of paper towels, or place a wire baking rack inside the sheet pan. Set it aside.
- When the oil reaches 385°F, carefully add a small handful of prawn crackers (about 5-8 depending on the size of your Dutch oven). The crackers will puff up almost immediately. When they float to the top of the oil, after 5-10 seconds or so, remove them with a wire spider strainer or tongs and place them on the prepared sheet pan. Sprinkle with a bit of salt.
- Repeat step 3 with the remaining prawn crackers.
- Serve immediately, with optional sweet chili sauce for dipping.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 852mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.