Shrimp toast is an appetizer from Chinese dim sum cuisine. It is made by spreading a shrimp mixture over pieces of bread and then deep frying or baking them. It is now a popular dish in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom as well as in several Asian countries. A similar dish called krupuk has also become a popular snack in many different cultures and is often prawn flavored.
Variations on shrimp toast have developed over time. One of the most common is the type of bread it is made on. Shrimp toast can be made on a variety of breads, including French baguettes, plain white bread, or even wonton-like wafers. The mixture that is spread over the bread can also vary, as each chef will likely add his or her own personal touch to it, but the two most common ingredients are shrimp and water chestnuts. The toast is usually coated with egg and is deep fried or baked.
Modern versions of this old favorite can be found in many recipes by popular chefs. Some versions add extra seasoning or even cream to the shrimp mixture for richness. The original dish has typically been served as an appetizer, but updated versions provide new serving ideas, such as soups or sauces that compliment the dish.
The dish originated in China, in the Guangdong Province, over 100 years ago and, from there, spread to other Asian countries like Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand. It has since become popular in many different parts of the world, and in some places, it is also known as prawn toast. A slight variation on the original dish is sesame shrimp toast, often found in Australia and the United Kingdom. It is made by adding sesame seeds to the toast before frying or baking it. In Japan, the dish is served as part of Chinese cuisine and is called hatoshi.
Krupuk is a similar dish that is eaten in many different places as a snack. It is a fried, starchy cracker that is often flavored with different ingredients. One common flavor of krupuk is prawn, which is flavored with shrimp, much like shrimp toast. The difference is that the shrimp flavoring is mixed into the starchy component that becomes the cracker in krupuk, whereas a shrimp mixture is simply spread over the bread for shrimp toast. Krupuk is sometimes referred to as shrimp crackers or shrimp crisps in English.