Deep-Fried Shrimp Toast
This is an awesome hors d' oeuvre. If accompanied by a clear soup or broth, or even with only tea, these toast squares are very, very good.
To make 16 pieces:
1/2 pound fresh shrimp in their shells.
4 slices of homemade bread. Sourdough bread works very well.
2 tablespoons of pork fat.
4 peeled fresh water chestnuts or rinsed, drained canned water chestnuts.
1 tablespoon Rice wine or pale dry sherry
1 teaspoon of salt
1 egg, lightly beaten.
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
3 cups of peanut oil or your favorite high heat cooling oil
Shell the shrimp and devein them.
Chop the shrimp until they are reduced to a fine pulp-like mass.
Trim the crusts from the bread and cut into quarters or triangles.
Chop the pork fa and water chestnuts together as fine as possible, and, in a small bowl, combine them with the shrimp.
Add the wine, salt, lightly beaten egg and the cornstarch.
Mix until a paste is formed.
Spread an equal amount of the shrimp mix onto the bread pieces, mounding slightly in the center of each piece.
For decoration, press some cilantro leaf into the middle of each piece.
Preheat the oven to 250F. Pour 3 cups of oil into a 12 inch wok or large deep fryer and heat oil to 375F.
Shrimp side down, drop in the bread squares a few at a time (the filling will not fall off).
Fry for about one minute, then gently turn them over in the fat and fry for one minute longer until the bread and shrimp topping are golden brown.
Then turn them one more time and continue frying for one more minute.
Drain on paper towels to absorb some of the cooking oil.
Serve on a heated platter as an appetizer or with a clear broth or soup.
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