Tuesday, 21 January 2020

I saw, I drooled ,I hollered.... sesame prawn toasts

We all have our guilty pleasures. I love eating all sorts of different things. It’s true that some of those things are relatively high in fat, sugar or salt, but I never feel guilty for eating them because I get so much satisfaction out of it,so no new year resolutions there mother. And of course there’s another side to this equation, a golden rule that has subconsciously managed my relationship with food my entire life: no food is ‘bad’ food, it’s just the way you eat it.One of my culinary guilty pleasures stems from a childhood introduction into Chinese food.A day out from boarding school with ones parents in the 1950´s was never complete without lunch at the local Chinese restaurant.(I was always mystified by  crispy seaweed).Whether you’re celebrating the Lunar New Year this weekend (the year of the rat) or just looking for a winning winter appetiser,these little chaps are pretty easy to prepare.
Enter sesame prawn toasts: cheap white sliced bread,I know, topped with a savoury prawn mixture, deep fried until golden and crisp. It reads like a nutritional nightmare. But I adore them, because every single crunchy and juicy bite hits the proverbial spot and lights up the sensory centres in my brain. And more importantly,I dont make a habit of eating sesame prawn toasts every day.
And here’s another secret to really enjoying these so-called ‘naughty’ foods: make them yourself. That way you have executive control over what goes in, which in itself must surely be better by virtue of eliminating the artificial flavours, colours, preservatives and lower-quality ingredients that by necessity end up in mass-produced and processed food.
Sesame prawn toasts
Serves 8
(16 pieces)
4 slices of white bread, crusts off and cut into 16 triangles
190g raw king prawns, shells off
1 egg white
2 tsp ginger, finely diced
1 tsp light soy sauce
2 pinches salt
2 pinches ground white pepper
3 – 4 tbsp sesame seeds
vegetable oil, for frying
Blitz together the prawns, egg white, ginger, soy sauce, salt and white pepper in a food processor until you have a bitty paste. Spread the prawn paste mixture evenly over the 16 bread triangles, aiming for a layer of paste that is 3-4mm thick. Generously pat a layer of sesame seeds onto the prawn toasts. Heat 1 - 2 cm of vegetable oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Test that it is ready for frying by dipping in a piece of crust from the bread - it should sizzle and bubble but not turn brown immediately. In batches, fry the sesame toasts. Lower them into the oil prawn-side down for 1-2 minutes, then flip and fry for a further 1-2 minutes until the bread is golden and crispy. Remove onto kitchen paper or a cooling rack, then serve immediately while still hot and crunchy.

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