Eating in authentic Chinese restaurants is part of almost every ones childhood in my country.Â Every nation in this world has some form of a Chinese restaurant and the best ones are those that are run by a small Chinese family. The smaller they are , the more authentic their food tastes. Although, the big Chinese restaurants do serve great authentic Chinese food, but I guess something about a little Chinese hole in the wall joint gives off that feeling of authenticity.
I remember growing up with my father always wanting to eat at this popular Chinese restaurant in the 70â€™s. Yikes, that statement just busted out how old I am. Haha! Anyhow, I still vividly recall the things we would regularly order, and to this day I have not found a single Chinese restaurant that could bring me back to that same place in my mind. Perhaps my taste buds are stuck in theÂ memory of such good food and happy memories that nothing comes close in comparison to what I had eaten all those years.
I clearly can recall this really softÂ beef tenderloin in some sweet red sauceÂ with onions … the fried batteredÂ chicken pieces with a side of salt and pepper, spring rolls that just matched perfectly with that huge platter of stir fried noodles with super crispy veggies. Oh, and the Yang Chow fried rice … geez, I can almost taste it right now while thinking of it. I have tried to replicate that fried rice many times but I still canâ€™t make it as close to how good I remember it.
There is one dish that I would beg my dad to always order Â and I was happy to eat just that. These were shrimp toasts! It came with a sweet and sourÂ dipping sauce and I was happy to enjoyÂ my order while my parents would catch up on things. I would just sit there with contentment written all over my face and watching the aquarium full of big fishesÂ on death row.
Wonâ€™t you try this delicious Ham and Shrimp toast appetizer ? Itâ€™s seriously great Chinese eats when youâ€™re entertaining.
Ham and Shrimp Toast
1/2 lb 227g / 8oz Fresh shrimp
2 oz 56g Pork fat
1 Egg white
1/2 teaspoon 2.5ml Rice wine – or dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon 2.5ml Salt
1/2 teaspoon 2.5ml Fresh ginger root – minced
1 tablespoon 15ml Cornstarch
5 White bread
1 teaspoon 5ml Black sesame seeds – or poppy seeds
1 tablespoon 15ml Minced ham – if desired
6 cups 1422ml Oil – for deep-frying -peppersalt-
2 tablespoons 30ml Szechwan peppercorns
2 tablespoons 30ml Salt
- Shell and devein shrimp. Rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. Flatten each shrimp with the broad side of a cleaver to make chopping easier. Use cleaver to finely chop shrimp and pork fat. Combine chopped pork fat and shrimp; chop to a fine paste. Place shrimp paste in a medium bowl. Use a spoon or your hands to mix shrimp paste with egg white, wine, salt, ginger root and cornstarch; set aside.
- Remove crusts from bread. Cut each slice into 4 squares. Mound 1 rounded teaspoon shrimp paste on each square of bread and press gently. Garnish with sesame seeds and minced ham, if desired. Heat 6 cups oil in a wok over high to 350F (175F C). Reduce heat to medium. Carefully lower bread squares shrimp-side down into hot oil with a slotted metal spoon.
- Deep-fry 4 or 5 at a time until edges of bread turn golden, about 1 minute. Turn each bread and cook other side 30 seconds. Remove from oil with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
- Repeat with remaining bread squares. Â Sprinkle with Peppersalt, if desired and serve with sweet and sour dipping sauce. Makes 20 appetizers
- Pepper salt Heat a medium saucepan over medium-low heat 1 minute. Add peppercorns and stir-fry 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and let cool. Grind peppercorns into a fine powder with a mortar and pestle or pepper grinder. Add salt; mix well. Store in a tightly covered container.Â Makes about 1/4 cup.
Photo Credit: Benny Doro
Photo Credit: Spork or Foon
Photo Credit: Booksworm