Thursday, May 21, 2009

Shrimp and Water Chestnut Toasts

3/4 pound medium shrimp—shelled, deveined and coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 canned whole water chestnuts, drained and cut into 1/8-inch dice
2 large scallions, sliced crosswise
1/4 cup Shao-Hsing cooking wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 baguette, sliced 1/3 inch thick on the diagonal (24 slices)
Vegetable oil, for frying
1/4 cup sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 450°. In a food processor, combine half of the shrimp with the butter and process until pureed.
In a large bowl, toss the rest of the shrimp with the water chestnuts, scallions, wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and sugar. Blend in the shrimp butter. Spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the shrimp mixture on each baguette slice.
In a large skillet, heat 1/8 inch of vegetable oil until shimmering. Put the sesame seeds in a small bowl. Dip each shrimp toast in the sesame seeds to coat the shrimp mixture. Fry about 8 toasts at a time over moderately high heat, shrimp side down, until the shrimp mixture turns pink, about 25 seconds. Using tongs, transfer the toasts to a large rimmed baking sheet, shrimp side up. Repeat with the remaining toasts, adding more vegetable oil to the pan as needed. Bake the toasts for about 5 minutes, or until the shrimp mixture is cooked through. Serve right away.

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