Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I craved these Hippo bites so badly that I had forgotten to measure the ingredients before making them. By the time I did I was halfway through.

These are literally called Hippo Bites. Because by Malay standards they are big. Cucur or bites of any kind, sweet or savoury, are usually made in dainty bite-sized pieces so that you could pop the whole thing into your mouth in one go ~ without looking like you have just bitten off a hunky chunk of a hippo. But these are made bigger. So relatively speaking these are hippo bites or cucur badak.

Those bright tumeric-yellow cake cups come from Sarah-Jane Gorgeous yellow no?

I LOVE these and I have an all time craving for them. Freshly grated coconut is sauteed in a mixture of pounded onions, chilly and dried shrimps, diced fresh prawns, sliced lemon grass and some tumeric. The dough is the exact same dough used for the kuih keria or sweet potato doughnuts. And also deep fried. A subtle sweet, chewy crust hiding a spicy coconut shrimp filling inside. Wooooooo...... I LOVE. 

Recipe ~

Sweet potato dough ~ same as sweet potato doughnuts without the sugar scabs. You might want to double the recipe..

I can't promise that the amount of dough will match the amount of coconut shrimp filling. You might end up with extra filling as I did. Freeze it for making more another time. 

1 1/2 cups of steamed, completely cooled and mashed sweet potatoes ( I used slightly more than 1 1/2)
About 3/4 cup of plain flour or less
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all above ingredients together until it becomes a firm dough.  

Filling ......approximate values ~
3-4 shallots, peeled and sliced
2 garlic
3 slices fresh ginger
2-3 red chillies
3 heaped tablespoons of dried shrimps, re-hydrated
1 tsp tumeric powder or 1/2 inch fresh tumeric 
6-7 prawns, shelled, de-veined and chopped finely
1 large or 2 skinny lemon grass, the white part sliced finely
2 T cooking oil, any vegetable oil
21/4 cups of freshly grated coconut

Pound the onions, garlic and dried shrimps and fresh tumeric if using, in a pestle and mortar, until it becomes a moderately fine mush. 

Heat a pan. Pour in the cooking oil. Saute the pounded ingredients, and powdered tumeric at this point if using, until fragrant and turning lightly brown around the edges.

Add the diced fresh prawns, sliced lemom grass  and stir to mix in and until the prawns just turn pink. Add the grated coconut and mix well over low heat. Add a touch of water if the mixture seems a little dry. The mixture should be moist but NOT wet. add salt and pepper to taste. Leave aside to cool.

Shape the dough into balls the size of ping pong balls or perhaps slightly larger. Make a spacious depression in the centre and fill with the coconut-shrimp filling. At least a heaped teaspoon of it. Cover up and seal. Shape into a ball and then flatten it so that it looks like a fat chubby disc.  Keep on a plate and finish off the rest of the dough and filling. Any extra filling can be frozen and then defrosted to be used when you make more next time.

Heat medium pan. Add cooking oil to about an inch deep. Heat the oil till hot. Fry the cucur badak until a deep golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper to rid of excess oil. Serve warm or at room temperature. I like it at room temperature.

I am submitting this to Malaysian Monday. Sharon from Test With Skewer is hosting the next Malaysian Monday. Find out more about Malaysian Monday here.


Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

we love cucur badak too, yummy!

Apron Appeal said...

Prawns in a donut pastry? The sugar scabs I can get on board with...I don't know about this...but I think it's worth a try. I've got to get the sugar scabs done first.

La Table De Nana said...

Again unknown to me..but wow on the photos:) Love the basket too.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Zurin, I am not sure if I know this one. The photos are beautiful, love that egg basket :)

ann low said...

Zurin, this is so beautiful. I love everything in your photos :)

Sarah-Jane - said...

I love the idea of this. I've even got a massive sweet potato sat aside ready to try your doughnuts. AS if they weren't fantastic enough - I think these will bowl me over !

Just need to get my hands on some dried shrimps. I have bought a few unfamiliar malaysian things. I'll need to ask you what to do with them. One is some sort of paste in a jar. I think it's shrimp

WendyinKK said...

the translation had me pink all over....

3 hungry tummies said...

Hi Zurin they are fantastic! I will forward this to Sharon :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

hehe hippo bites are such a cute name! I love prawns and batter so I think that I'd love these :)

shaz said...

Oooh, I love these, my favourite snack. And could never work out why they were called Cucur Badak, thanks for the explanation.


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