Shrimp Toast (Mandarin)

Course : Appetizers
Serves: 20
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1 pound shrimp
4 ounces pork fat
2 large egg white
1 teaspoon rice wine -- or dry sherry
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger minced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
10 slices white bread
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons ham minced
3 quarts oil for deep-frying
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup szechuan peppercorns
1/4 cup salt

Preparation / Directions:

1. Shell and devein shrimp. Rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. Flatten each shrimp with the broad side of a cleaver to make chopping easier. Use cleaver to finely chop shrimp and pork fat. 2. Combine chopped pork fat and shrimp; chop to a fine paste. Place shrimp paste in a medium bowl. 3. Use a spoon or your hands to mix shrimp paste with egg white, wine, salt, ginger root and cornstarch; set aside. 4. Remove crusts from bread. Cut each slice into 4 squares. Mound 1 rounded teaspoon shrimp paste on each square of bread and press gently. Garnish with sesame seeds and minced ham, if desired. 5. Heat 6 cups oil in a wok over high to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Reduce heat to medium. Carefully lower bread squares shrimp-side down into hot oil with a slotted metal spoon. 6. Deep-fry 4 or 5 at a time until edges of bread turn golden, about 1 minute. Turn each bread and cook other side 30 seconds. Remove from oil with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining bread squares. 7. Serve hot. Sprinkle with Peppersalt, if desired. Peppersalt 1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-low heat 1 minute. Add peppercorns and stir-fry 5 minutes. 2. Remove saucepan from heat and let cool. Grind peppercorns into a fine powder with a mortar and pestle or pepper grinder. 3. Add salt; mix well. Store in a tightly covered container. Makes about 1/4 cup.

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