Onion fritters (cucur bawang)

I have fond memories of my mum making onion fritters (cucur bawang) for snacks when I was a kid. The fritters were always served with ketchup or chilli sauce. Leftover fritters were even tastier the next day, and would appear in my school lunchbox.

The last time I made these were at least 10 years ago. We don’t eat deep-fried food at home for health reasons, but I was feeling quite nostalgic this afternoon. The lovely smell of the onion fritters transported me right back to mum’s kitchen.

Ingredients (makes about 15 fritters)

  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 6 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 cup of water (give or take)
  • 1/2 tsp pinch of salt
  • a handful of dried anchovies, chopped (optional)
  • sunflower oil for deep-frying


  1. Add the flour and salt into a mixing bowl
  2. Slowly pour in the water until the flour is mixed into a batter (make sure it is not too runny)
  3. Mix the shallots, spring onions, chilli and anchovies (if used) into the batter. Stir well to ensure the batter is evenly mixed
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan (I used around 1/2 cup). A spoonful of batter makes one fritter. Once the oil is hot, transfer a spoonful of batter at a time into the oil. (Fry in batches of 5)
  5. Fry the fritters for 3 minutes on each side. Use a clotted spoon to transfer the fritters onto a plate lined with kitchen paper
  6. Serve piping hot with ketchup or chilli sauce

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