Shrimp toast? Don’t think I’ve ever had it, even when I ate seafood. But here’s the concept: a sea-kissed base is combined with something salty, something spicy and something herby. It’s spread over some toasted white bread, which is fried to create a super-rich and delicious appetizer. Traditionally the base here is shrimp, but here I’ve used king oyster mushrooms instead to recreate a similar texture.
The umami, funk and fishiness of the mushrooms made a perfect shrimp analog, and worked well with the sambal, lemongrass, scallions and sesame seeds. I used one of my favorite new products here—Fysh™ Sauce—which I’ve used before in a vegan Tom Kha Gai and in tofu marinades, and love. This recipe, inspired by and adapted from my May 2016 issue of Bon Appétit, is super-easy, super-decadent and a great way to use king oyster mushrooms. As far as the taste, I’m not sure how it compares, but it’s fantastic in its own right. 🙂
CRISPY VEGAN SHRIMP TOAST
Yield 16 vegan shrimp toasts
Recipe inspired by Bon Appétit‘s Shrimp Toasts.
- 10 ounces king oyster mushrooms, stems and tops chopped (about 3 cups)
- 1 lemongrass heart, chopped
- 1 TB sambal oelek (double-check ingredients for fish)
- 1 TB Fysh Sauce
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 2 scallions, sliced and separated into white and green parts
- 4 slices of toasted white bread, crusts removed
- 4 TB each of black and white sesame seeds
- vegetable, grapeseed or canola oil, for frying
- First, make the “shrimp” paste by placing the first 6 ingredients (for the scallions, only use the white parts) into a food processor and pulse until well blended.
- Next, spread the paste over the tops of the toasted bread, smoothing it out towards the edges. You want the thickness of the paste to be the same as the thickness of the bread.
- Place the sesame seeds onto a flat plate and press each piece of toast, paste side down, into it. Cut each piece in half, then each half into triangles.
- Place enough oil into a flat-bottomed pan so it has about 1/4 inch oil in the bottom. Heat over medium-high heat. You can test the oil for readiness by inserting a wooden chopstick or spoon into the bottom. If it bubbles immediately, you are ready to fry. Place the shrimp toast paste side down, and fry until golden, 2-3 minutes. Flip, and allow the other side to develop a golden color, 1-2 minutes more.
- Transfer to paper towels to drain. Serve immediately, garnished with the green scallions.