Prawn Accras is an appetizer or a snack that is eaten anytime. I say anytime because is there truly a rule as to when we must eat certain foods? In the Caribbean Accras or Accras, depending on how it is spelled are fritters.
Fritter is a name applied to a wide variety of fried foods, usually consisting of a portion of batter or breading which has been filled with bits of meat, seafood, fruit, or other ingredients. (Wikipedia, 2015)
As an islander, I feel blessed to have had the exposure of many ingredients and most importantly learning about difference spices, their benefits and how to use them in cooking. Did you know this?
From Raymond Bauer in Remarkable Shrimps:
- Shrimp is characteristically used to refer to those crustaceans with long antennae, slender legs, and a laterally compressed, muscular abdomen that is highly adapted for both forward swimming and a backward (retrograde) escape response.
- Prawn is often used as a synonym of shrimp forpenaeoideanand caridean shrimp, especially those of large size.
From the English Oxford Dictionaries:
- Shrimp: a small free-swimming crustacean with an elongated body, typically marine and frequently of commercial importance as food.
- Prawn: a marine crustacean, which resembles a large shrimp.
I find Prawn and Shrimp to be a bit tricky to cook. From my experience, the more spices you had to a dish where the main ingredient is prawn or shrimp if the spices are not blended correctly, meaning not quite go together, there is a chance that the prawn or shrimp will lose its taste.
The flesh is a bit bland in my opinion, therefore, it can be hard to create the flavor and taste you want. I guess that is why many people prefer to add just salt and pepper. That will not do it for many of us I bet. We definitely want more spices, right!
Prawn Accras is made with fresh spices, a simple batter and fried in vegetable or canola oil. Simple, delicious and don’t forget to add your favorite dipping sauce. I prefer it with Pikliz or a good Hot Sauce. That’s the Caribbean side of me!
- 1 pound prawn or jumbo shrimp as a substitution
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- 3 scallions finely chopped
- 1 medium shallot finely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove (thinly sliced or crushed to make a paste)
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon scotch bonnet or habanero pepper finely chopped, optional
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Vegetable oil for frying use any other types of oil you prefer
- Shell, devein and remove the heads of the prawns. Rinse with water and pat dry.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour with the water. Add scallions, shallot, garlic, and parsley, scotch bonnet pepper or habanero pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to form a smooth paste. Season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
- Add the baking powder and prawns and mix well. Let mixture stand for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan of a deep fryer. When the oil is very hot, using a tablespoon, drop in the mixture and fry until golden. Do not crowd the pan or the acras will not have enough room to rise. When golden, remove from the oil and drain on a plate plated with paper towel. Serve the acras hot with hot sauce, Pikliz or your favorite dipping sauce.