Opening that plastic container to reveal some greasy deep fried bread with just a thin spread of prawns has to raise the question – why on earth do we love this Chinese take away classic? Because we do! It is already on the list before we have even dug out that menu stuffed under a pile of newspapers on the coffee table, or pinned up on the fridge. And while I love sesame prawn toast I can’t help but always feel disappointed with the take away versions that are floppy and the topping resembles something vaguely fishy! The problem is that Sesame Prawn Toast just doesn’t travel well. It needs to be eaten when piping hot and crunchy and dipped into a hot and spicy sauce. In this case either eating out or making your own are the only two options to eat it properly. And while it certainly isn’t an authentic dish, it is most definitely worth it!
I love Chinese flavours. Fish such as sea bass steamed with ginger, spring onions and pak choi is a real favourite. Or pork belly rubbed in spices, garlic and fresh ginger and slow cooked before a final coating of hoisin sauce to give it that delicious and crispy texture. But we all have our comforts and just like some Crispy Pork Wontons or a classic Chicken Chow Mein, Sesame Prawn Toast really does hit that spot!
It took me a few times to get Sesame Prawn Toast right. The actual prawn paste was easy. I simply blend some prawns, ginger, garlic, chinese five spice and lemon juice in a blender. But it was the frying, grilling or toasting that got me. I did try and fry them. I prefer to shallow fry just like I do with the Wontons because I find that deep frying actually causes the outside to burn and the middle to still be raw! I just can’t get it right but that might be down to lack of deep frying experience, and I plan to keep it that way. Frying the bottom of these toasts was easy but when it came to flipping them over I found that the prawn paste soon started to separate and create a ball of fried prawns on it’s own. This recipe was my success and actually ended up being a healthier version! I toast the bread in a toaster for just 2 or 3 minutes. Then I cut in triangles and spread the prawn paste on one side before popping them under a hot grill for just 2 or 4 minutes until the prawns are bubbling on top and the toast is gently crispy. Dipping these crunchy toasts in a hot sauce is absolutely delicious and honestly beats any take away version!
You can find the instructions to make a hot dipping sauce here.
- 100g raw peeled prawns
- 1 tspn sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic (peeled and grated)
- 1 tbpsn size fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
- 1 spring onion (finely chopped)
- 1 tspn Chinese five spice
- Juice of half a lemon
- 3 tbpsn sesame seeds
- 4 slices of white bread
- Heat the grill to it's highest setting.
- Put the prawns, garlic, ginger, spring onions, lemon juice, Chinese five spice and sesame oil in a blender. Blend until it forms a smooth paste.
- Pop the slices of bread in a toaster for just 2 mins. They should be slightly toasted and more like 'warm bread'.
- Cut the slices of bread in half (in triangles) and then spread the prawn paste on one side of each slice. Put the sesame seeds onto a plate and spread them out and then put the bread paste side face down and press onto the sesame seeds. The sesame seeds should then cover the prawn paste.
- Pop them slices of bread under a grill for just 3 mins or until the sesame seeds are a golden brown and the prawn toast starts to bubble slightly.
- Leave to cool for only a couple of mins before serving immediately.