New Products in Istanbul: Prawn Crackers

Posted on June 27, 2012


I’ve started a new sub-genre:  New Imports/Products available in İstanbul!

New imports have been trickling into İstanbul within these past couple of years.  Tubs of green, red, and yellow curry paste are now quite common in markets that stock international products.  A few years ago, I could only find small packs of red curry paste until Carrefour stopped importing them and it disappeared.  The discovery of boxes of dry black beans at the Macro Center was revolutionary!  Occasionally, you could find black beans in the can, but at around 7 or 8 TL per can they are a luxury item.  A box of dry black beans runs about 6 lira and it will make you about 8 servings.  I also just received a report from one reader that he/she has found fresh cilantro at a market on Bahariye Cad. here in Kadıköy.  I had given up hope on this completely.  Therefore, I would like to devote this portion of the blog to helping we expats keep up to date with hard-to-find, or newly available products and ways to use them.

The first:  Prawn Crackers

I had never even had these in America.  I was browsing around in my local market and saw two different kinds of Prawn Crackers.  One type looked brown and crusty and I couldn’t figure out what to do with them, so I decided on the other box that read:

‘‘Preparation:  Fry the crackers in boiling vegetable oil at 180 degrees Celsius.  Done when floating.’’

At about 5 TL a box, I decided to give it a try because I’d heard about them in one of the top iron master chef cooking programs.  It turns out that they are really tasty and interesting.  You can eat them instead of a bag of chips or as an appetizer to a coconut curry or something. The following photos will show you exactly what you need and what to do to enjoy these Prawn Crackers:

The only tricky part is getting the oil to the right temperature.  The crackers should expand after about 2 seconds in the oil, and you have to get them out immediately because they burn fast!

At the moment these are available at MILKA on Moda Cad.  Post a comment if you’ve seen them anywhere else.