I remember when I first had prawn toast from a Chinese takeaway and I was mesmerised. Just how do they make this, and how do they get the prawns to stick to the toast? Very much a guilty pleasure, I can’t actually order it as the supermarket bread used turns my guts into knots (real bread is no problem, as for most!), so I turned to my stove as I always do, and figured it out.
It turns out it is really easy, and quick too. Raw prawns held together with egg white and the seasoning of your choice sticks easily to the bread. Fried prawn side down and then turned over for the finish to get that glorious crisp brown (and they must be fried to get the guilty gorgeousness of it all, you can bake them if you must).
The best thing about making your own prawn toast? You can use fabulous bread and you can season them as you like. Reach for the sourdough or similar and play around with herbs and spices. I couldn’t resist the pot of garlic chives lingering in my garden and some lovely sweet bright Korean gojucharu (red pepper flakes). Better again? You can chop them into soldiers and have them with your breakfast egg.
Enjoy and do let me know how you make your soldiers for your egg, or how you end up seasoning your prawn toast. Life and cooking is all about the variations, right? :)
- 350g fresh prawns, shelled weight (not cooked, you want the grey ones - frozen is fine, but defrost first)
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh garlic chives (or chives)
- 1 tbsp gojucharu (Korean red pepper) - substitute with a teaspoon of a mild chilli of your choice or Aleppo pepper
- good bread (sourdough works well)
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- light flavourless oil for frying like sunflower or groundnut, to fill a frying pan to an inch
The easiest way to make this is in a food processor or blender, but you can hand chop if you need to (this will take longer).
Put all of the ingredients in your food processor with a generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper and pulse until well combined but not a paste, you still want to see chunks of prawn which makes for a nice texture on your finished toast (see video). Fry a small piece to check for seasoning and adjust appropriately.
Cut your bread into your desired shape (I like soldiers but you can do bigger more traditional slices too).
Spread the prawn mix on to each one, heap as much as you like, it will stick and a big chunk of prawn mix makes a spectacular toast.
Heat an inch of oil in a frying pan / skillet or heat your deep fat fryer to 180 deg C. If you don't have a thermometer it will be ready when a small piece of bread immediately frenetically sizzles on impact.
Fry the toasts in batches prawn side down ensuring they have plenty space for a couple of minutes , then turn over for a couple of minutes until the bread side is golden brown.
Remove with a slotted spoon or similar, allowing excess oil to drain off, before placing on a plate lined with kitchen roll for just a couple of minutes. Remove the kitchen roll or to another plate as they may get soggy if you leave them on the paper.
Eat as you like with a dippy egg or on their own.
Aren't they wonderful? Enjoy!
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