Cereal butter prawns dish is a popular Zi-char dish found in Singapore. Zi-char is a Romanized Hokkien term used in Singapore to describe a Chinese food stall which provides a wide selection of common and affordable dishes which is similar to home-cooked meals.

The prawns are first coated with egg and potato starch, deep-fried and tossed into the buttered cereals with curry leaves and chilli padi to give that extra kick. This dish is simple to cook, except for the effort required to de-vein the prawns.


Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 15 mins

Serves 4

Ingredients to make the Cereal Butter Prawns

  • 10 big prawns

Coating Mix

  • 1/2 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp potato starch flour
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Cereal Mix

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 2 chilli padi, sliced
  • 20 curry leaves
  • 1 cup Nestum Cereal (preferred brand)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Prepare the prawn.

    Wash the prawns and keep the shells intact. De-vein by slitting the back of the prawns and remove the gut. Marinade the prawns with salt, pepper for 10 mins.

  2. Prepare the Nestum cereal mix.

    Wash the stalks of curry leaves and run finger through to remove the leaves. Pat dry and set aside. Cut the chilli into slices, and mix the nestum cereal, sugar, pepper, salt in a bowl.

    ingredients for cereal mix

  3. Cook the prawns.

    Coat the prawns with the beaten egg and potato starch flour to make it crispy. Deep fried the prawns in batches until cooked, that is, when prawns curled up as U-shape. Dish out and place on paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Set aside.

    coat the prawns with potato starchdeep fry cereal butter prawnsdrain the excess oil from prawns

  4. Cook the dish.

    Melt the butter in the pan using low heat. Add in the curry leaves and the chilli to fry until the curry leaves are crisp. Pour in the Nestum cereal mix and fry for 2-3 mins until the cereal is golden brown and crispy. Add in the prawns and toss it until well mixed with the cereal. 

    melt the butter to fry the chilli and curry leavesfry the cerealadd prawns to make the cereal butter prawns
    Plate and serve hot.
    plate and serve the cereal butter prawns


  • Do not overcook the prawns to avoid the prawn meat being dried and tough. (C-shape is undercooked, O-shape is overcooked, U-shape is just right)
  • In order to seal up the juices in the prawn, deep fry oil must be hot
  • To avoid burning the butter, curry leaves and cereal easily within seconds, lower the heat when cooking. Need to watch the frying closely.

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