Burmese Snacks · Side Dish

Burmese Fresh Water Shrimp Fritters (Pa-Zun-Gwet-Kyaw)

Burmese Language Lesson
  • Pa Zun –> Shrimp
  • Gwet (or Khwet as written) –> Cup Shaped
  • Kyaw –> Fritters or Fries

Today I am recreating a famous Burmese street food called Pazun Gwet Kyaw, which is a fritter made of succulent freshwater shrimps, onions and beansprouts. It is the best of both worlds when the shrimp fritters are golden and crisp on the outside and soft and sweet in the middle. Leaving the shrimps shell on, head intact gives an extra crunchy texture. I had to rush taking the photos because like any other Burmese fritters, these little gems taste best if eaten piping hot.

One of the roadside kiosks you must not miss during your Burmese street food experience are the ones with vendors deep frying profusion of fritters and crispies in their gigantic iron frying pans filled with sizzling oil. Usually these street vendors make the batter of Burmese fritters by mixing one cup of glutinous rice flour to every two cups of regular rice flour. While the rice flour crisp the fritters up, the glutinous rice flour makes them delicate, soft and chewy. But in today’s recipe I used a typical fritter batter familiar to most of us, with all purpose flour, cornstarch and baking powder.

To beautifully paired with these savory bites, I made a simple, clean and refreshing dipping sauce with fish sauce, freshly squeezed lemon juice, pressed garlic and fresh chilies, to round up all the flavors. The vendors will typically serve the hot and crispy fritters with sweet, sour and spicy tamarind chili dip. Though extremely tasty, please be aware that these dips are not for the faint of stomach.

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Burmese Freshwater Shrimp Fritters – Burmalicious by Suu

Yield: 9 fritters

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

  • ½ lb. of head on, shell on Shrimps
  • 2 medium-sized Onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of Bean Sprouts
  • ½ cup of All-purpose Flour
  • 4 tbsp. of Corn Starch
  • 1 tsp. of Baking Powder
  • 1 tbsp. of Fish Sauce
  • 1/3 cup of Cold Water
  • ½ tsp. of Sugar
  • 2 Green Chilies, finely chopped
  • Few bunches of Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of Peanut Oil for frying
Dipping Sauce
  • 2 tbsp. of Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of freshly squeezed Lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. of Sugar
  • 3 crushed Garlic cloves
  • 2 thinly chopped fresh Green Chilies
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Ingredients for Burmese Shrimp Fritters – Burmalicious by Suu
 Making the Batter
  • First, combine the dried ingredients in a bowl.
  • Stir in the fish sauce and cold water, till there are no more lumps. Careful not to overmix the batter.
  • Add chopped green chilies and cilantro.
  • Mix in the shrimps, onions and beansprouts.
  • You might want to showcase the shrimps so they do not need to be fully coated with batter.
Frying the Fritters
  • Heat the peanut oil in a heavy frying pan or wok over medium high heat.
  • Scoop the fritter batter in a large tablespoon and drop it gently into the hot oil.
  • Turn the heat down to medium.
  • Fry not more than two pieces at a time to prevent them from joining up and temperature from dropping.
  • Deep fry them until they are golden on both sides, approximately for 3 minutes for the bottom part and 1 minute for the top.
  • Remove from the heat and drain the fritters on paper towels.
  • Repeat with the remaining batter.

* Immediate serving and consumption is highly recommended.

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Burmese Freshwater Shrimp Fritters – Burmalicious by Suu


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