Chef John's Shrimp Toast


These savory shrimp toasts are a fantastic appetizer for a cocktail party. While virtually unknown compared to most other popular fried party snacks, they're easy to make and every bit as delicious, and addictive, as those Buffalo wings or jalapeño poppers.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
4 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 24 mins
16 shrimp toasts


  • ½ pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • ¼ cup diced water chestnuts

  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves

  • ½ cup finely sliced green onions, plus more for garnish if desired

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger root

  • 1 anchovy filet

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, or more to taste

  • 1 egg white

  • ½ teaspoon white sugar

  • ½ teaspoon paprika

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 4 thick slices white bread

  • 1 teaspoon Sesame seeds

  • 1 cup vegetable oil for frying, or as needed


  1. Place shrimp, water chestnuts, cilantro leaves, green onions, garlic, grated ginger, anchovy filet, sesame oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, egg white, sugar, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times; scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to process until mixture is well blended and reaches a paste consistency, 1 or 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to blend the flavors, about 1 hour.

  2. Very lightly toast bread slices. Trim crusts from bread. Spread shrimp paste onto bread in an equal thickness as the bread. Cut slices in half and then diagonally into diamond shapes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

  3. Place a heavy skillet over medium-high heat; pour in about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil. When oil is hot, add bread slices, paste-side down, and fry until crispy, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Serve hot or warm garnished with additional sliced green onions.

Editor's Note:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

212 Calories
9g Fat
20g Carbs
14g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 212
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 87mg 29%
Sodium 714mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 5mg 26%
Calcium 90mg 7%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 228mg 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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