Kitchn Love Letters

The $6 Snack I Serve at Every Party — Especially During the Spring

updated Apr 7, 2023
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Credit: Thao Thai

I have a major aversion to deep frying. There’s the hauling-out of equipment buried in storage closets, the sting of hot oil hitting your skin, the time spent carefully flipping wings and egg rolls. It’s a lot. I’m the first to Google, “Can it be air-fried?” in response to any deep-frying recipe, and thankfully, the answer, invariably, is yes. But there is one food that I will deep fry, every single time: APEXY Prawn Crackers, colorful shrimp chips that are equal parts crispy and puffy.

What’s So Great About APEXY Prawn Crackers?

When I was growing up, we’d have a plate of these prawn chips set out at every party and they were always the first to go. I can still see little hands (including my own) reaching for one of these savory clouds, while an adult stood nearby, frying yet another batch on the stove. Back then, prawn chips felt like their own magical, self-replenishing snack. (They aren’t!) Now, I know they take work … work that is completely worthwhile.

With spring upon (most of) us, I’ve begun to remove the coverings from our lawn furniture. We’re hosing off months’ worth of grime from the iron tables, sending spontaneous “Come over!” texts to friends. And I’m getting out the deep fryer. 

Credit: Thao Thai

These prawn chips are the easiest thing you could deep fry. You can air fry or even microwave the prawn chips, but I don’t think the puff is comparable. Instead, you’ll want to heat a pan with oil up to 410 degrees, then slowly lower in the tiny chips, and watch them puff up in seconds. You don’t need a ton of oil, because the dried chips are pretty small, but be sure not to crowd your fryer. Then, flip them onto a paper towel to drain.

Credit: Thao Thai

They cool super-quickly, so if you have a hungry kiddo (or adult) nearby, they won’t have to wait long for shrimpy satisfaction — a batch of shrimp chips takes about 15 minutes. And you have to taste-test, of course. They’re less salty and heavy than potato chips, and the crunch is so satisfying. The chip just melts away, leaving behind a savory shrimp flavor that’s irresistible, but not so heavy as to repel the seafood-averse. 

Credit: Thao Thai

After frying, I like to pop open a beer and take my bounty onto the deck, where I may or may not share with the friends gathered there. The colors are ideal for spring, too. You can add a dipping sauce, but I don’t think they need it. Potato chips and cocktail peanuts can move on over; prawn chips are the king of my snack table, now and forever.

Buy: Apexy Prawn Crackers, $9.99 for 2 8-ounce boxes

Do you have a favorite store-bought snack you serve at parties? Tell us in the comments below.