Sesame Prawn Toast
Sesame prawn toast is often served as an appetiser in Chinese restaurants. Its origins are rather obscure, but I suspect it is a variation on the prawn paste used widely in southern China as a stuffing or for deep-frying into crispy balls.
|10||thin slices of white bread|
|3 tbsp||white sesame seeds|
|450ml (15fl oz)||groundnut oil|
|For the prawn paste:|
|450g (1lb)||raw prawns, shelled and de-veined|
|100g (4oz)||fresh or tinned water chestnuts, peeled if fresh, finely chopped|
|100g (4oz)||minced fatty pork|
|½ tsp||freshly ground black pepper|
|3 tbsp||finely chopped spring onions (white part only)|
|1½ tbsp||finely chopped fresh root ginger|
|1 tbsp||light soy sauce|
|2 tsp||sesame oil|
You will need a cleaver or sharp knife, and a wok or deep-fat fryer.
Using a cleaver or sharp knife, chop the prawns coarsely and then mince them finely into a paste. Put them into a bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients for the prawn paste. (Alternatively, you could do all this in a food-processor.) The paste can be made several hours in advance and kept, covered, in the fridge.
Remove the crusts from the bread and cut it into rectangles about 7.5 x 2.5cm (3 x 1in) – you should have about 3 pieces per slice. If the bread is fresh, place it in a warm oven to dry out a little. Dry bread will absorb less oil.
Spread the prawn paste thickly on each piece of bread. The paste should form a mound about 3mm ( 1⁄8 in) deep, although you can spread it more thinly if you prefer. Sprinkle the toasts with the sesame seeds.
Heat the oil to a moderate heat in a wok or deep-fat fryer. Deep-fry several prawn toasts at a time, paste-side down, for 2–3 minutes. Then turn them over and deep-fry for another 2 minutes, until they are golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper and serve.