Don't be daunted by the list of ingredients and steps for this recipe. Each step doesn't take long to complete and it ended up being quite a simple recipe to execute in the end. I cheated with the yuzu mayo though and I used red cabbage instead of mint leaves to give the dish more colour.
When I saw the recipe used both nuoc cham and yuzu mayo I considered foregoing one of them because I thought there might be too many flavours going on. I'm glad I didn't because the nuoc cham seasons the herb salad delicately. The freshness of the salad marries perfectly with savoury crunchiness of the prawn toast and the yuzu mayo adds that unexpected pop of flavour. Genius!
1 large sourdough loaf
sesame seeds for sprinkling
vegetable oil for deep frying
600 g uncooked prawn meat
1 egg white
1 T sesame oil
3 t caster sugar
2 t fine salt
2 T thinly sliced coriander stems
Yuzu mayonnaise (my cheat’s version)
1/3 c Japanese mayonnaise
yuzu juice to taste
70 g sugar
70 ml white vinegar
70 ml fish sauce
3½ t lime juice
1 small handful of coriander leaves
1 small handful of round mint leaves
1 small handful of Vietnamese mint leaves
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
For prawn mousse, put ingredients in a food processor and pulse to a coarse paste. Resist the urge to make it too smooth because you want texture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to firm up.
For yuzu mayo, whisk ingredients together adding yuzu juice to taste. Set aside.
For the nuoc cham, whisk together ingredients and 70ml water until the sugar has dissolved. This sauce can be kept in a sterilised jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
To prepare the prawn toast, cut the ends off the bread and slice it into 8mm slices. Spread the prawn mousse in a 1cm layer on the slices with a butter knife. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Fill a heavy-based saucepan to a third full with oil and heat to 180C or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden in 15 seconds. Fry each piece of toast separately until golden and prawn mousse is cooked (3-5 minutes). Check if the mousse is fully cooked. If not, deep-fry the toast for another minute or two. Drain on paper towels, then cut each toast into 4-5 slices.
For herb salad, mix the herbs and spring onions in a bowl, then dress with 2½ tbsp nuoc cham (reserve remainder for another use).
To serve, top each piece of toast with yuzu mayonnaise and garnish with fresh herb salad.
Serves 6 as a snack.
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