How to Cook Cereal Prawns, Kaya and Pisang Goreng

Cereal prawns is one of those dishes that emerged on the Malaysian food scene AFTER I moved to Australia back in 1984, so I never got to try it growing up. That didn’t stop me putting it on my Concord restaurant menu back in the day, however, so I set off to learn the recipe the same way most people in this day and age do – I googled it.

Most recipes online call for oatmeal (seeing that Nestum cereal isn’t that readily available overseas), so that’s what I used. It wasn’t until years later that I found out there’s actually no oats in Nestum, so oatmeal is in fact a lousy substitute for it.

That would explain why my version didn’t crisp up and I had to turn it into a creamy-oatmeal-prawn dish by adding evaporated milk, thus accidentally creating a new dish I named “Jackie M Prawns”. Which was damn popular, I might add.

Cereal Prawns


300g prawns, peeled, tail intact
1 egg white
3 Tbsps rice flour
Oil for deep-frying

½ cup Nestum cereal
50g butter
2 stalks curry leaves, stalks removed
2 bird’s eye chillies, sliced
2 tsps minced garlic (optional)
1 tsp chicken powder
2 tsps sugar


  1. Heat oil to 180°C. Toss prawns with egg white, dip in rice flour, then deep-fry for about 30 seconds or until just cooked through.
  2. Remove and drain.
  3. Heat butter in saucepan, then add garlic, chillies and curry leaves.
  4. Saute until garlic is lightly browned.
  5. Add cereal, chicken powder and sugar and lower heat.
  6. Add prawns and mix well; cook until cereal is a golden brown colour. Adjust seasoning, remove and serve.

Click here for Kaya recipe >>

Click here for Pisang Goreng recipe >>



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