Shrimp and Water Chestnut Toasts
- TOTAL TIME: 40 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6
At 66, his luxe Chinese restaurant in downtown Manhattan, Jean-Georges Vongerichten serves crunchy toasts he identifies as "New York Chinese." "Shrimp toast doesn't exist in China," he says. "You don't find spaghetti and meatballs in Italy either." Vongerichten adds a tiny dice of water chestnuts to the rich shrimp topping, which makes it extra juicy.
- 3/4 pound medium shrimpshelled, 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.
For this take on "New York Chinese," try pouring a Riesling from New York or Washington State.