Sesame Prawn Toasts

Enjoy a Chinese dim sum favorite with your party guests. Look for very thinly sliced white bread in the shops - if you can't find it, regular sliced bread can be thinned out with a quick pass of a rolling pin!

  • Preparation Time40 mins
  • Cooking Time35 mins
  • Serves12
  • DifficultyEasy
1 large egg white
1 -inch piece ginger, roughly chopped
1 small clove garlic, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon dry sherry
Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound peeled and deveined large prawns, tails removed
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 small inner stalk celery, very finely chopped
6 whole water chestnuts, very finely chopped
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
10 slices very thinly sliced white sandwich bread
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Vegetable oil, for frying

Make the prawn paste: Process the egg white, ginger, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil, the sherry, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the brown sugar and several grinds of pepper in a food processor until all the ginger and garlic are pureed. Add the prawns, and pulse until a thick paste forms. Transfer to a medium bowl, and fold in 2/3 of the scallions, the celery, water chestnuts and sesame seeds. (The prawn paste can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.)

Trim the crusts from the bread, and evenly divide the prawn paste among the slices (about 2 heaping tablespoons each). Spread out into an even layer that completely covers the bread.

Make the dipping sauce: Whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon brown sugar, the lemon juice and a large pinch of salt in a small bowl.

Fry the toasts: Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Fill a large, wide skillet with straight sides, with about 1 inch of vegetable oil. Attach a deep-fry thermometer to the skillet, and bring the oil to 190°C over medium heat. Being careful of the hot oil splashing, put 5 to 6 prawn toasts in the oil prawn-side down and fry until the prawns and the edges of the bread are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pieces, and continue to fry until the bottoms are golden brown, about 1 minute more. (Adjust the heat as needed to maintain the temperature.) Transfer the prawn toasts to the prepared baking sheet, and dab the tops with a paper towel to absorb some of the excess oil. Sprinkle the toasts all over with the remaining scallions and some sesame seeds and salt. Cut each toast into 4 triangles, and serve hot with the dipping sauce on the side.

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