Butter Prawns

When eating out, this is one of the favourite dishes to order at Malaysian Chinese restaurants. Juicy prawns with flavoursome and spiced butter-egg “threads”. I have wanted to try this for a long time but never bothered to look up the proper recipe. Finally, last week, I decided to give it a shot. I looked up a few recipes online and came up with one that was simplest and suited the ingredients that I already have at home. A surprisingly short recipe for something that looks and sounds sophisticated.


  • ~200g prawns, dried with paper towels
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 2 big tablespoons butter
  • 10-15 pieces of curry leaves
  • 1-2 bird’s eye chili (cili padi), sliced – optional
  • Salt and sugar to taste


  1. Mix egg yolks and milk in a bowl, set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a hot pan.
  3. Using medium heat, pour yolk and milk mixture onto pan slowly, stirring continuously like you do scramble eggs.
  4. Continue stirring until small firm grains form, continue stirring non stop with the back of your spoon or spatula.
  5. Add in curry leaves and chili, continue stirring and tossing (about 10 minutes).
  6. Add salt and sugar to taste, continue to stir-fry until golden brown (about 10 minutes).
  7. Add in the prawns, turn on high heat and toss everything together.
  8. Remove from heat and serve hot.

*Note: I used shelled medium prawns which were pre-cooked. However, I think raw prawns with shells intact would work better. If you are using these, deep fry them in hot oil until pink beforehand.

Butter prawns in restaurants are served with butter fine threads instead of grains like mine. Haven’t figured out how to do that, but this recipe works fine for me. I have also tried this with crumbed squid rings which were deep fried beforehand. It works just as well. Happy cooking!