Back when I was little (single digits little), I used to eat fish. Every Friday my mom would get seafood from the supermarket and that would be that evening’s meal (and no, this was nothing religious related, it was just what was served at Friday dinners). However, as I got older I stopped eating fish altogether much to my mom’s dismay. (Ironically enough, my older brother had done the same-ate fish when he was younger but then stopped cold turkey.) It wasn’t until around the age of 21 that I started eating it again, however, nothing regular, more just “on occasion.”
Shrimp is something I didn’t try for the first time until my mid-20s which I know some people may find it hard to believe. I attribute it to the fact that I don’t really like eating any type of food that looks like it did when it was alive. However, I have gotten over my aversion to shrimp and usually have it for a meal a couple of times a year (I really enjoy grilled shrimp).
When my parents were visiting last month, I needed to find an appetizer to pair with the chicken satay skewers and cucumber salad I had made and these sesame shrimp toasts seemed like a great fit. They were easy to make and just offered a nice tasting contrast to the other two courses. And I have to say that Asia was quite well represented at that evening’s meal between the shrimp toasts from Vietnam, the chicken skewers from Indonesia, and the cucumber salad from Thailand.
Sesame Shrimp Toasts
recipe courtesy of The Book of Vietnamese Cooking by Deh-ta Hsiung
8-10 ounces raw peeled shrimp, chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root
2 shallots, or 1 small onion, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 French baguette
3-4 tablespoons white sesame seeds
Oil for deep frying
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, to garnish
-In a bowl, mix the shrimp, garlic, ginger, shallots, egg, salt, pepper, and cornstarch, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
-Cut the bread into 1/2 inch slices and spread thickly with shrimp mixture on one side, then press down onto the sesame seeds so that the entire surface is covered by the seeds, making sure the seeds are firmly pressed into the shrimp mixture.
-Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fat fryer to 350 degrees F and deep-fry the toasts, in batches, spread-side down, 2-3 minutes until they start to turn golden brown around the edges. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve hot, garnished with chopped fresh cilantro leaves.
Makes 6-8 servings.