Shrimp and Water Chestnut Toasts


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. More Shrimp Recipes

Shrimp and Water Chestnut Toasts
Photo: © Tina Rupp
Total Time:
40 mins


  • 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


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°. In a food processor, combine half of the shrimp with the butter and process until pureed.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

Suggested Pairing

For this take on "New York Chinese," try pouring a Riesling from New York or Washington State.

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