Gochugaru Girl has had another long day of church meetings.
The week has not ended and there are more meetings tomorrow.
Can volunteering their help at church keep people so busy?
Yes (you need to trust me on this), and it really is interesting. I get to meet people, greet people, study the Bible, pray with friends, read with children, assess situations, organise events, digest facts, calculate figures, consider options, look at church chairs, look at church taps, visit cafés, eat cake, have tea…the list is endless.
And lists, of course, are what I love. It’s Thanksgiving Day today and I am giving thanks that all you really need for a fulfilled life is pen and paper.
One of the meetings involved planning an event for supporters of Christianity Explored next January. In discussing the canapés for the evening I thought I should offer to make the one canapé that always gets requested at my parties: sesame prawn on toast, or SPOT as it is known in-house.
Friends who have asked for this recipe are inevitably sent vague instructions, as I never really measured the ingredients, judging instead by sight.
Last weekend I decided to measure everything precisely and to post them on this blog.
You need raw prawns and sliced white bread to ensure success. The prawns are easily bought in frozen state and require defrosting overnight and possibly shelling. The bread is specifically medium-sliced and of the ‘economy’ or ‘value’ variety as this is best for deep-frying.
That something which starts out so plain, grey, dull and basic can turn into something so attractive and delightful is probably an appropriate analogy for a life transformed by the Cross.
A food processor (with blade attachment) is used to chop the prawns into a paste. The old-fashioned method (which I grew up with) is to use one side of a large oriental cleaver to ‘smash’ the prawns bit by bit until it reaches the right consistency. This is not advisable for such a large amount of prawns, unless you have a lot of time on your hands and find the exercise therapeutic.
This recipe makes around 24 -28 square pieces of prawn toast, which is cut into 4 triangles each. If you are serving this as part of a finger-food party, it is safe to allow 3-4 triangles per person. Some people will only have 1 or 2 pieces but we have known others who plant themselves directly in the path of the serving plate as it passes, thus ensuring first grab at the toasts.
For the Prawn Toasts:
1 kilo raw prawns (shelled weight)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon caster sugar
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
24-28 slices of medium-cut white sandwich bread
200g – 300g untoasted white sesame seeds
1½ litres sunflower oil
Paper kitchen towel
Sweet chilli sauce for serving
How to Make:
Defrost the prawns if they are frozen and shell them. Make sure the end weight of 1 kilogram is of the defrosted and shelled prawns.
Place the prawns in a colander and rinse them lightly under some running water. Dry thoroughly with the paper kitchen towel and place in a mixing bowl.
Add the sesame oil, salt, sugar and ground white pepper. Give everything a good mix.
Process the prawns in small quantities until you get a rough paste.
Cut the crusts off the sliced bread.
Place a good quantity of sesame seeds on a plate.
Using a butter knife, spread the prawn paste onto one side of a slice of bread.
Press the prawn-side onto the sesame seeds, and leave aside until ready to fry. Continue until you have finished using up the paste.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Mine is 30 cm in diameter. Test the readiness of the oil by throwing in a cube of bread: it should not sink nor should it turn dark brown instantly.
Place a few pieces of bread prawn-side down in the pan. Fry until the edges of the bread are lightly browned, then flip it over and fry until the bread-side is of a colour to your liking. As a rule, have it less brown if the toast will be re-heated later, and more brown if you are serving it straightaway. (To re-heat, place the uncut toast onto a baking tray and heat in an oven at 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas 4 for 20 minutes).
Place the fried toasts on a tray lined with kitchen paper.
Cut each prawn toast into quarters before serving with the chilli sauce.