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What Is Shrimp Toast?

By Emily Espinoza
Updated May 16, 2024
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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.

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Discussion Comments
By Ocelot60 — On Jun 24, 2014

@raynbow- To make shrimp toast with less fat and calories, you can also bake it instead of deep frying it. Though it's not the same shrimp toast cooking method that most people are use to, it is a nice variation that tastes good and is good for you.

By Raynbow — On Jun 23, 2014

For a healthier shrimp toast recipe that is low in calories but full of flavor, I like to use whole wheat bread. When you use this type of bread for this shrimp recipe, it is important to make sure that it isn't too fresh so it won't turn out soggy after it is prepared. When I plan to make shrimp toast, I usually purchase the wheat bread at least 4 days in advance so it has a nice, firm texture when I am ready to make the toast.

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