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Shrimp Toast

Shrimp toast is a wonderful Chinese appetizer that few restaurants do well. The best I ever had came from Kenny Cheung, who for years operated the now-gone Peking in New Orleans East. I once walked into his kitchen and saw an entire sink full of fresh shrimp he’d just bought. He beamed at me and said, “Not many Chinese restaurants peel fresh shrimp for shrimp toast!” It is much simpler to prepare than the finished product would have you believe. It is delicious served with Chinese plum sauce, which can be found at any large supermarket.

  • 2 cups fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cups canned water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 6 slices white bread, crusts cut away
  • Sesame seeds
  • Vegetable oil for frying

1. Put the shrimp meat and the water chestnuts into a food processor or blender, and process into a lumpy paste.

2. Scrape contents into a bowl and add the egg and the flour. Stir well.

3. Press down on the pieces of bread to flatten them. With a knife, coat each piece of bread with a mound of the shrimp mixture about an inch high. Top with a sparse sprinkling of sesame seeds. Cut each of these into quarters.

4. Deep-fry in vegetable oil at 325 degrees until golden brown. Drain excess oil and allow to cool for one minute.

Serves six.