Hong Kong’s Cha Chaan Teng (“tea restaurant” aka Hong Kong café) sprang up in the 1950s and 60s while Hong Kong was still under British rule. This influence is one of the reasons why many of the dishes you’ll find on a Cha Chaan Teng’s staggeringly large and eclectic menu are a fusion of Chinese and Western cuisines. In company with iconic fusion dishes like spam macaroni soup, baked pork chop rice, and peanut butter condensed milk French toast, shrimp toast (蝦多士) is one of the mainstays. They are easy and quick to make at home, too. Seasoned minced shrimp paste is spread on white bread, coated in nutty sesame seeds, and deep fried until golden and super crunchy. Serve them as an afternoon snack or party appetizer – adults and children alike will appreciate.
Related: Chinese Pan-Fried Buns with Pork
Traditionally, the crust is trimmed off the bread slices. You may do so (and snack on the crusts!) or leave the crusts on – it’s up to you.
Place all shrimp mixture ingredients into food processor. Long-pulse until mixture forms a paste-like consistency but is not fully smooth – it’s nice to leave some texture to it.
Spread about ¼ cup of shrimp mixture on each slice of bread, spreading right to the edges, slightly doming in the center. Cut each into four triangles (or halved into two triangles or rectangles).
Place sesame seeds in a small, shallow dish. Gently place triangles, shrimp-side down, on top of sesame seeds. The sesame seeds stick easily to the shrimp mixture, so there is no need to press down or else the shrimp mixture will get squeezed over the edges.
Pour enough oil in a skillet so it is about 1-inch deep. Heat over medium heat to 375°F. If you don’t have an instant thermometer, insert a dry wooden chopstick or wooden spoon handle into the oil. If a lot of bubbles rapidly rise up the sides, the oil is ready.
Note: Frying them at a too-low temperature will yield a greasy result as the bread absorbs too much oil; frying them at a too-high temperature will brown too quickly. Therefore, monitor and adjust heat as needed to maintain a fairly constant temperature.
Working in batches of four triangles at a time, carefully slide them shrimp-side down into the oil. Fry until golden, about 60 seconds. Flip and fry the other side until golden, 30 seconds or so. Drain on paper towels. Repeat for remaining triangles, adjusting heat as needed.
Serve fresh with a garnish of chopped scallions.