When I was a kid, there was nothing I wanted more at the Chinese restaurant than the pupu platter. First, there was the name. Hilarious! Second, there was the tiny hibachi grill in the center of the platter. Third: shrimp toast. Oh, shrimp toast! It was greasy, crispy, salty, and squishy. It was also the ultimate American-Chinese appetizer of the 1960s, when white bread collided with chestnuts to create delights of questionable Polynesian origin at tiki parties all over suburbia. This recipe combines shrimp, herbs, and water chestnuts to recreate the briny appeal without the problematic toast.
Peel and devein the shrimp. Drain the liquid from the water chestnuts. Combine the water, cream of tartar, and baking soda in a small bowl. Smash and peel the garlic clove.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the peeled shrimp, water chestnuts, baking soda paste, garlic, cilantro, chives, and salt. Pulse until the mixture forms a smooth paste, then place the food processor bowl in the fridge while you cook the snow peas.
Place the water in a large, nonstick skillet and bring it to a boil. Wash the snow peas and add them to the pan. Toss with two wooden spoons until the peas are dark green and the water has evaporated. Add the ghee and sesame seeds; stir-fry 1 minute and transfer them to a bowl. Lightly cover the bowl with aluminum foil to retain the heat.
Peel and crush the garlic. Thinly slice the scallion. Peel and grate the ginger. Place the aromatics in a pint-size Mason jar along with the vinegar, coconut aminos, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes. Shake to combine.
In the same skillet you used for the snow peas, warm
Divide the patties and snow peas among individual serving plates along with ramekins of dipping sauce.
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