I blame the Olympics. Every. Single. Time. I turn on the television we’re in Beijing again: at the “summer palace,” in Ho Chi Min square, walking through the food markets…eating things with chopsticks. I’ve had the most amazing craving for Chinese food…specifically for the retro appetizers you would get at an old-school Chinese restaurant or Dim Sum place.
And since our JT is out of town this week in Canada, tonight seemed like a good time for a little experiment. Sometimes when he’s gone, I take the opportunity to try some of the recipes that I’m not quite sure will turn out. Sooo….tonight I made Asian Shrimp Toasts.
These are something I remember having at restaurants when I was a kid, but I really can’t think of any Chinese places that I currently go to that offer them. So maybe they really are a retro food? If you’ve ever seen the movie “A Christmas Story,” I’d like to think that Ralphie and his family were probably munching on shrimp toasts before the restaurant staff broke into song at the end.
Regardless, its a very tasty treat. Crispy and distinctively Asian in flavor and..well, just good. You start by pureeing a mixture of cooked shrimp, garlic, ginger, soy, green onion and egg in the food processor (or, if you’re me and you still don’t have one of those– although I have registered for one now! — puree in your blender). Then spread the paste onto slices of white bread, sprinkle with sesame seeds and fry in canola oil until golden. I served mine with a dipping sauce made of bottled hoisin, soy sauce and a bit of water to thin the mixture.
At my last check, Michael Phelps had just won his eleventh gold medal and was heading off to rest and eat — too bad he’s not here for dinner!
Asian Shrimp Toasts
1/2 lb. cooked, peeled shrimp, tails removed
2 tbs. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 tsp. freshly shaved ginger
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 large egg
1 tsp. cornstarch
6 slices white bread, crusts cut off
toasted sesame seeds
canola oil for frying
Place the first 8 ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and blend until a thick paste has formed. Spread paste evenly on top of each slice of bread. Sprinkle sesame seeds evenly over the shrimp paste on each slice of bread. Cut each slice of bread crosswise from corner to corner to create four triangles from each slice.
Heat oil in a large frying pan to medium-high until hot enough to fry. Drop toast triangles into hot oil in small batches, sesame side up and fry, about 1-2 minutes per toast. Turn each toast halfway through cooking to brown evenly on both sides.
When toasts are golden, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Garnish with additional chopped green onion and serve toasts warm with hoisin/soy sauce or sweet and sour sauce for dipping.