Shrimp and Crab Toast on French Baguettes with Fresh Plum Sauce
These delicious starters are deep-fried, browning mounds of shrimp and crab paste on thin French baguette slices. They are served with plum sauce. You can make your own plum sauce by peeling, pitting, and pureeing plums, then simmering them until almost dry with a little sugar, rice vinegar, and plum wine to taste.
- French baguette loaf - 12 diagonally-cut slices, scant 1/4-inch thick
- Fresh Shrimp - 1/4 pound, shelled and deveined
- Fresh Crab Meat - 1/4 pound, picked over for shell
- Fresh Ginger - 1 tablespoon, finely minced
- Scallion - 1 tablespoon, finely minced, white and light green parts only
- Kosher salt - 1-1/2 tablespoons
- Chinese rice wine or dry sherry - 2 teaspoons
- Water - 2 teaspoons
- Cornstarch - 4 teaspoons
- Fresh Water Chestnuts - 1/4 cup
- Egg White - 1, beaten to stiff peaks
- Black Sesame Seeds - 1/4 cup, for garnish
- Smithfield Ham - 1/4 cup, minced
- Coriander leaves - 12, fresh whole
- Corn or peanut oil - for deep-frying
- Plum Sauce - 2 cups
Leave the baguette slices out on a rack overnight to dry, or place in a low oven for about 10 minutes until dry to the touch. Mince the shrimp and crabmeat to a paste, then combine with the remaining ingredients, stirring well in one direction to blend. Fold in the beaten egg white.
Using a broad-bladed sandwich spreader, mound shrimp on bread slices, about 3/4 inch thick, tapering the mound where it meets the edge of the bread to form a smooth dome. Sprinkle sesame seeds and ham bits thinly on the top, then press on a single coriander leaf.
Heat the oil to 365 F. in a deep fryer or deep saucepan. Deep-fry for about 4 minutes, until the topping is golden. Using tongs or long cooking chopsticks, turn the toasts to brown the bottoms. Remove and drain on paper towels.
To serve: Divide among serving plates. Pass warm or cooled plum sauce.