See-Food

Cooking during quarantine has forced me to get a bit more creative than usual for my daily sustenance. All those years of looking for unconventional substitutes is paying off, in ways I could never expect.

No more tomato paste? Well you’re in luck, because I just found a few packets of ketchup in my bag! Bottle of soy sauce ran dry? There’s miso for that!

It’s also done wonders to clean out my stock of specialty goods, the rare, random oddities that caught my eye while shopping, but seemed too precious to simply consume without fanfare.

So, as supplies dwindle and lines to enter grocery stores continue to wrap around the building and down the block, this day seems like just the special occasion to dig in. The time has finally come to thaw out the strange, slippery, bouncy jumbo prawns to make something great.

What does one make with chewy konjac-based seafood and a limited pantry? Luck was on my side, as I had just the idea waiting in the wings. Simultaneously cleaning out my digital pantry, this was a concept I had outlined ages ago, saved away in the “to-make” folder, and promptly forgotten about. Though I didn’t have the anticipated crowd of party revelers to impress, when my long-forgotten formula for meatless shrimp toast finally came to fruition, it was no less magnificent to behold.

Hatosi (蝦多士 in Cantonese) literally translates to “shrimp toast,” a beloved party bite or snack enjoyed as a savory happy hour staple, and beyond. Traditionally made with crisp sandwich bread cradling a layer of shrimp puree flavored with ginger, garlic, and scallion, it’s coated in sesame seeds before being deep-fried. Briny, umami, with just the right amount of salty-greasy satisfaction, such a foolproof preparation could appeal even to seafood haters.

Nothing against the conventional approach, but I’m not about to pull out a bubbling vat of oil for this party of one, so I baked mine instead. Healthier, easier, and more economical, since I can keep my reserves of oil full for another day.

While shortages remain a very real fact of life across the globe, I realize that this recipe is pie in the sky for the large majority of readers, no matter how bottomless your food stockpile. Even on a good day, it’s a kind of crazy amalgamation of quirky ingredients. All we can do is work with what we’ve got, and right now, this is what’s keeping me cooking. Rather than offer up alternatives that won’t even come close to the intended effect, I want you to read this with optimism, as a promise of more to come. Save it for better days, keep growing your “to-make” folder, and keep dreaming of unrestricted abundance. Sometime soon, I hope we can all raise a triangle together, and literally toast to good health for all.

Yield: Makes 8 Servings

Vegan Shrimp Toast

Vegan Shrimp Toast

Shrimp toast is traditionally made with crisp sandwich bread topped by a layer of shrimp puree flavored with ginger, garlic, and scallion. Although typically deep-fried, my healthier, easier, meatless version is baked to crispy perfection instead.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Pound Vegan Shrimp or Jumbo Prawns
  • 1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Scallions
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon Finely Minced Fresh Ginger
  • 3 Tablespoons Aquafaba
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Vegan Fish Sauce
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Chickpea Flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground White Pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Slices White Sandwich Bread
  • 2 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Seeds

Instructions

    1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
    2. Place the vegan shrimp, scallions, garlic, and ginger into your food processor. Pulse several times to begin breaking down the ingredients. Use a spatula to scrape down sides of bowl before adding the aquafaba, soy sauce, vegan fish sauce, and sesame oil. Continue to process until the mixture is well blended and becomes a coarse paste in consistency. It should be almost spreadable, but not smooth.
    3. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in the chickpea flour, pepper, and salt. Cover and chill in the fridge while preparing the toast.
    4. Slice the crusts away from the bread and reserve for another use (such as croutons or breadcrumbs.) Cut each slice in half diagonally and arrange the pieces on an ungreased baking sheet. Toast for 5 - 8 minutes, until golden brown.
    5. Take out your shrimp filling and smear a thick layer (about 1/4 inch) on each piece of toast. Sprinkle generously with sesame seeds before returning the toast to the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes until deeply browned and set around the edges.
    6. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with additional sliced scallions if desired.

Notes

Serve with sweet chili sauce on the side for dipping, if desired.

Recommended Products

Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. I have experience with all of these companies and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something through my links.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 97Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 587mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 9g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.

5 thoughts on “See-Food

  1. Way to channel your creativity! I have never even seen chewy konjac-based seafood before. Shrimp toasts for us brings back loads of delicious memories of living in HK dim sum treats.

    1. They’re definitely still a bit of a rarity, which is why I held on to my stash for so long. I can’t claim my rendition of shrimp toast would be remotely accurate for replicating the original dish, since I’ve never actually eaten it, but I do know it’s darn good!

Leave a Reply