Prawn Toasts with Water Chestnuts and Spring Onions


Pale imitations of Cantonese prawn toast abound, but when made properly it’s one of the greatest Chinese snacks. This preparation is golden for two reasons: slivers of water chestnuts impart a sweet crunch and sourdough bread ensures there is no soggy base.

Prep 10 minutes
Cook 10 minutes


  • 300 g (10½ oz) raw peeled prawns
  • 75 g ( oz) drained water chestnuts
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 4 spring onions (scallions), chopped
  • 10 slices white sourdough
  • 50 g 2 oz) black and white sesame seeds vegetable oil, for frying


Place the prawns, water chestnuts, ginger, soy, egg white, cornflour and 2 spring onions in a food processor and pulse until chunky. Remove and set aside.

Remove the crusts from the bread and cut each slice into three triangles. Spread the mixture thickly over the bread slices. Dip each one in the sesame seeds.

Fill a wok or small, deep heavy pan with 5 cm (2 inches) of oil. Line a baking tray with a layer of paper towels for draining.

Heat the oil in a wok or deep medium saucepan until it reaches 180–190°C (350–375°F) or when a small piece of bread instantly sizzles. Fry five or six toasts at a time until golden and crisp, about 1–2 minutes.

Serve the prawn toasts with the sriracha sauce and/or black vinegar dipping sauce.