KUALA SELANGOR: Almost everyone loves a crunchy snack now and then and, for crispiness and flavour, it’s hard to think of anything that can beat the Malaysian seafood-based cracker, whether its fish or shrimp keropok.
You can find keropok havens on both the east and west coasts of the Malaysian peninsula. Some are more famous than others, but FMT Lifestyle recently decided to check out the calm fishing village of Pasir Penambang in Kuala Selangor, which specialises in prawn keropok because of its abundant catch of the crustacean.
The producers of Uncle Woo Shrimp Cakes, Goh Yeng Teong, 36, and his wife, Teo Pei Ling, 33 operate from their home.
Goh said his parents were also makers of prawn crackers but he branched out of the family business to make a name for himself.
“I decided to start my own brand back in 2020, when my elder brother took over the family business,” he said.
At the home-based factory, freshly caught white prawns are transformed into the much-loved snack.
The prawns are first shelled, then ground into a paste in a blending machine. The paste is then mixed with tapioca flour and sugar, salt and other condiments.
The kneaded dough is separated into smaller portions shaped into cylinders, which are then steamed for about three hours.
After the steaming, they are chilled in the fridge until they reach the desired firmness to be sliced thinly by a machine.
Once sliced, they are arranged neatly for fan drying, a process that takes about a day. Goh said drying under the sun would normally take two days.
Once fully dried, the slices are ready for packaging or frying. Goh does business with both uncooked crackers and ready-fried keropok.
Recently, he introduced some quirky new flavours, namely Korean fried chicken, garlic, seaweed and curry.
He also produces sweet potato crackers, pumpkin crackers and fish crackers. The fish keropok is of the lekor variety, often associated with Terengganu.
Goh said he used his family recipe for the prawn keropok. “But we did some alterations of our own, too,” Teo chipped in.
She added that with the abundance of prawn cracker brands in Kuala Selangor right now, the competition was quite challenging.
“But I’d say we’ve established our brand now. The other sellers already have a customer base of their own. So we’re co-existing quite well.”
The couple said they looked forward to having their children take over the business someday, but would be supportive if they wanted to pursue other dreams.
“It’s not easy making prawn crackers. We need to work almost every day. There’s a lot of working under the sun and sweating, not the kind of thing a teenager would want to do.”
So what’s on the horizon for Uncle Woo Shrimp Cakes? “To have a shop of our own, definitely,” said Goh.
Follow Uncle Woo Shrimp Cakes on Facebook.
Uncle Woo Shrimp Cakes
27, Jalan Bayu 4
45000 Kuala Selangor
8.30am- 6pm (closed on Mondays)
Contact: 016-669 9544