Sesame Shrimp Toast

My first encounter with shrimp toast was in Canton, now known

as Guangdong, in 1972. I had the great good fortune to visit China

about six months after Nixon’s celebrated visit. It was still very

much a communist country then with extremely curious citizens

in blue Mao jackets, little red books, and a minder who did his

best to keep me under observation at all times. I have adapted

this appetizer from one featured at a Chinese banquet in a lovely

old mansion on the banks of the Pearl River. We were treated to

the recorded strains of “Jingle Bells” on that hot July evening.

½ pound of shrimp, peeled

2 eggs, beaten

¼ cup of green onions, chopped

3 tablespoons of cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, minced

1 teaspoon of red pepper sauce

2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds

1 dozen slices of French bread, about an inch thick

In a food processor, pulse the shrimp, eggs, onions, cilantro,

and sesame oil three times to chop. Do not reduce to a paste.

Blend in the ginger and pepper sauce. Spread generously and

energetically on French bread and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Heat a half inch of peanut oil in a skillet to medium high and

fry the toasts, shrimp-side down until they are golden brown.

Sprinkle lightly with salt and serve.

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