I don’t know about anyone else, but when I used to go out for Chinese food with friends, one of the best bits was sharing a bunch of appetizers such as dumplings, spring rolls and sesame shrimp toast. A few years back, when I was helping with a Guide/Girl Scout group, we decided to do a few international cooking projects. As I was looking for some relatively easy ideas, I came across recipes for sesame shrimp toast (or prawn toast to us Brits), and realized quite how easy it was. It was a great thing to make with the Guides – it was really easy and they all enjoyed it. More recently, I’ve made it at home for my toddler who also happily gobbles it up.
Prawn or shrimp toast?
Normally I use both the US and UK words where there’s a difference and don’t bother explaining, since I figure you’ll work out what I mean. But here I think it’s worth a little more explanation since shrimp is used in both places. Shrimp in the UK is just a small variety, while prawn is used for larger specimen. In the US, shrimp is the generic word for all sizes. So if you are in the UK, buy what you know as prawns. In the US, buy shrimp.
How it’s made
You can make this with just shrimp/prawn if you like, but it’s more common blended with pork. I think this helps give a slightly better texture that sticks to the bread more easily. You still get plenty of shrimp/prawn flavor coming through. It’s incredibly easy to make, simply chopping up the shrimp/prawn and ground pork/pork mince together, spreading it on the bread, drizzling on sesame seeds and frying. It’s pretty easy to see when it is cooked enough as both the pork and shrimp/prawn will change color and the sesame seeds will toast up nicely. Then just lightly brown the underside for a nice crisp. This is one of the few times I would advocate using white bread rather than wholemeal or multigrain. For this it does seem to work better (though I often use sourdough).
These sesame shrimp toast make a great appetizer as part of a Chinese meal but are also great on their own as a snack or for a party. They are pretty economical as you only use about a teaspoon of shrimp/prawn and pork mixture per half slice of bread so a little mixture goes a long way. It’s so easy to make and a great crowd-pleaser. Try it yourself, and you’ll soon see what I mean.
Sesame shrimp toast (prawn toast)
A classic Chinese appetizer that's easy to make at home.
- 1/4 lb raw shrimp 125g prawns
- 1/4 lb ground pork 125g pork mince
- 5 slices white bread
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds approx, for sprinkling
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil for frying, approx
Roughly chop the shrimp/prawn then add the ground pork/pork mince. Chop the two together until finely diced and well mixed.
Cut each of the slices of bread in half diagonally. Then take a teaspoonful of the mixture and spread it on one of the pieces of the bread, spreading flat and as far to the edges as you can. Repeat with the rest of the bread and the shrimp/prawn-pork mixture.
Sprinkle a little of the sesame seeds over the shrimp-pork side of the pieces of bread and gently press the seeds in to the mixture so they hold but stay on the top.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the pieces of bread in batches, shrimp-pork side down first. Cook for around 3-4 minutes until the sesame seeds are gently brown and you can see the pork and shrimp/prawn have changed color and cooked.
Turn the bread and cook around another 3 minutes to crisp gently on the underside.
Repeat with any more batches needed at the time and serve.
Try these other Chinese dishes:
Remember to pin for later!