Shrimp Toast Recipe: Easy, Air Fryer, Chinese

Shrimp toasts recipe is created with fresh chopped shrimp, onion, celery, and garlic nestled in a creamy sauce of cream cheese, Parmesan, and Fontina cheese with a dash of Cajun flavour. Shrimp toast recipe has a poor reputation for being greasy, but when made at home, it’s a nicely crispy and tasty Chinese appetiser that’s ideal for game days and parties. Making them is simple, and they may even be done ahead of time. A wonderful shrimp paste is spread on soft bread and pan-fried to perfection. Pair the small triangles with a sweet chile sauce for a flavour party in your tongue. The trick is to cook them right before serving so they’re hot and crispy.

They are ideal for entertaining, and everyone enjoys serving these bite-sized treats alongside Mini Quiche and Toasted Ravioli. Our simple shrimp toast recipe emphasises the lovely sweet flavour of shrimp and is extremely tempting!

Shrimp Toast Recipe: Chinese or Vietnamese

The actual origins of shrimp toast recipe (also known as prawn toast) are subject to some discussion. Some believe it comes from Guangzhou, while others suggest Hong Kong. It has long been an important part of Hong Kong and western Chinese cuisine, particularly in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

Shrimp Toast: Ingredients

  • Bread – Shrimp toast recipe may be made with any type of bread, but sandwich bread provides for a light, crunchy appetizer that I believe goes best with this meal. If you choose a more substantial bread, such as a baguette, make sure to slice it thinly.
  • Shrimp – You do not need to use costly shrimp for this. I used little frozen shrimp that had already been shelled and deveined for simplicity. If you buy shel -on shrimp, here’s how to clean and devein them.
  • Pork – We prefer to include a tiny bit of ground pork in my shrimp toast for two reasons. The first is that it adds some fat, which keeps the shrimp paste moist. The second reason is that it enhances the umami in the shrimp paste. It is an optional component, so you may leave it out if you choose.
  • Onion – Shrimp toast is traditionally cooked with scallions, but I like onions because they provide a delicate sweetness to the shrimp paste.
  • Ginger – Ginger masks any fishy flavors from the shrimp while providing a gently spicy touch.
  • Shaoxing wine imparts flavor and umami to the shrimp stuffing. If you can’t locate it, sake works well as a replacement.
  • Toasted sesame oil – The nutty taste of toasted sesame oil pairs perfectly with the savory shrimp toast recipe.
  • White pepper – White pepper is a polarizing ingredient that not everyone likes, so if you don’t like it, leave it out or replace black pepper or chili flakes.
  • Egg white- It binds and captures air bubbles, resulting in a light and fluffy shrimp paste.
  • Potato starch- It is another binding element that aids the shrimp paste in retaining its fluids.
  • Thai sweet chili sauce – You can serve your shrimp toast with sweet chili sauce for dipping. It is not a must.

Shrimp Toast Recipe: Easy

Firstly, to make the shrimp toast recipe, split the shrimp and hand slice one half into bite-sized pieces. This allows you to preserve the airy quality of whole shrimp in the paste.

In a food processor, combine the remaining shrimp, pork, onion, ginger, potato starch, egg white, Shaoxing wine, toasted sesame oil, salt, and pepper, and process until the mixture is creamy mousse.

In a mixing dish, combine the hand-chopped shrimp and the shrimp paste until evenly distributed.

Spread the shrimp mixture equally across all four slices of bread. It’s alright if the coating is a little thicker in the middle than at the borders.

After spreading the shrimp paste on the bread, toast it and cut it into triangles, squares, or strips. Use a sharp knife and wipe the blade with a moist paper towel after every cut. You can remove the bread crusts at this step if you choose.

Prepare a wire cooling rack with layers of paper towels and heat ½ inch of vegetable oil in the pan until it reaches 360°F (180°C).

Fry the shrimp toast, shrimp side down, until the edges begin to brown. This should take around two minutes. Next, turn the toasts and crisp the bread side before moving them to the prepared rack to drain. That is the end of this shrimp toast recipe.

Serve the shrimp toasts while they are hot.

Shrimp Toast Recipe: Baked, Oven

Shrimp toast is mostly deep fried or baked. We don’t suggest either approach and recommend pan-frying (nearly shallow frying) as it always tastes better. Pan-frying provides the same cooking evenness as deep-frying, but with less oil!

You may also cook them in the air fryer for great, crispy results! Set your air fryer to 350˚F. Generously spray the bottom of the frying basket, as well as the top and bottom of each piece of shrimp toast, and air-fry for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the bread is toasted and the shrimp filling is cooked through. If your bread is really soft, set slices out to air dry for 1–3 hours before spreading with shrimp mixture.

Air fried vs deep fried which is better?

The usual approach for making shrimp toast recipe is to deep fry it in oil, which results in a crispier and lighter texture while keeping the contents moist. The air fryer/oven approach works just as well, if not better. I noted that the toast is still very crispy, golden brown, and far less greasy. However, the filling is slightly drier. Bread absorbs a lot of oil, therefore I would prefer the air fryer version. The photo below shows the air fryer results on the left and the deep fried version on the right. There isn’t much change, if any.

How to cook them in the air fryer

The air fryer method is really easy, and the cleaning is far easier than deep frying. After sandwiching the shrimp, all I did was spray oil on both sides. Then throw it in your air fryer at 350°F or oven at 400°F for 10 minutes. Make care to turn the toast halfway through for an even browning.

Shrimp Toast Air Fryer


1 lbs shrimp

1 tsp salt

½ tsp white pepper

1 stalk green onion

2 cloves garlic

1 egg white

½ tsp sugar

1 tbsp cornstarch

6-8 slices bread

Dipping sauce

½ cup Japanese mayo

1 tbsp sriracha


For the shrimp toast recipe, finely chop the shrimp. Mince it. Season 1 pound shrimp with salt, white pepper, green onion, chopped garlic, egg white, sugar, and cornstarch. Mix together 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp white pepper, 1 stalk green onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 egg white, ½ tsp sugar, and 1 tbsp cornstarch. Set aside the shrimp filling.

Remove the crust off your bread. To make a sandwich, spread a generous amount of shrimp filling on one slice of bread and top with another slice.

Deep fried at 350°F until golden brown, OR coat with oil and air fry at 350°F, or bake at 400°F for 10 minutes, turning halfway through. (1/2 cup Japanese mayo, 1 tablespoon sriracha)

Combine the dipping sauce ingredients and serve over crispy shrimp toast.

Best Texture for the Shrimp Paste

The topping is called shrimp paste for a reason. It should be a paste. This will help the paste spread and cling to the bread properly. We enjoy using our food processor for speed and convenience. You may certainly prepare the paste by hand; simply mince the shrimp with a sharp knife, then scrape and mash with the side of your knife to form a paste.

Our version includes a shrimp paste with a little texture. You will enjoy biting into the little triangles and experiencing some of the shrimp texture. This is also why we prefer adding water chestnuts into the paste preparation. You’ll like the little amounts of crunch from the water chestnuts, as well as the texture from the shrimp.

If you like a more pure flavor, whizz the shrimp combination in a food processor until it forms a smooth paste!

Should the Crust be On or Off?

Many recipes, including ours, ask for removing the bread’s crust before adding the paste! We enjoy the evenness of the bread with the crusts removed when toasted, and keeping the crust on frequently makes the meal about the bread rather than the shrimp, which you will dislike.

However, this is primarily a matter of personal opinion, so you may remove or leave the crust on. It doesn’t make much of a difference, but everyone has different tastes. Some people leave it on since cutting it off wastes bread, but we usually transform the crust leftovers into homemade breadcrumbs for later use, so that’s an issue discussed!

Should You Use Shrimp or Prawns?

As previously indicated, shrimp toast is also known as prawn toast and was originally cooked using prawns. They are completely interchangeable in this recipe, so use whatever is most readily available at your local market.

Also, if you’re wondering about the distinctions between shrimp and prawns, I discovered an excellent article that explains them.

Best Shrimp size for Shrimp Toast Recipe

Because we will be mincing the shrimp, we always recommend the smallest/cheapest size available. Of course, larger shrimp will work, but I’d rather save them for a meal in which they’re cooked whole.

Best Dipping Sauce

We love our shrimp toast dish with sweet chili sauce. We believe the sauce complements the shrimp’s sweetness well, while also offering a hint of fire to balance out the flavors. You may easily serve the shrimp toast with ponzu sauce or just soy sauce on the side. You may also have the shrimp toast without the sauce, which is also delicious. Enjoy!

Shrimp Toast Recipe Tips

Broilers are quite unpredictable, so if at all possible, bake on low. Use my cooking times merely as a guideline, and check on the baguette slices periodically.

Whenever possible, get high-quality wild-caught shrimp. You may buy either fresh or frozen. However, if frozen, defrost in the refrigerator or in a plastic seal bag submerged in extremely cold water.

Pull on the shrimp’s legs to take away the shell. Now, using a tiny paring knife, make a shallow incision down the center of the shrimp, back to the top edge where the tail was. To remove the black intestine, run cool water over the shrimp’s back and massage so that the vein rinses readily.

This dish moves rapidly, and you must keep up to ensure that the shrimp do not overcook. Keep everything nearby, including the spices, cubed cream cheese, and shaved Fontina and Parmesan cheese.

If you can’t find shaved Fontina and Parmesan, shave what you need off a block with a vegetable peeler.

Delicious toasted French bread bits covered with shrimp in a rich, creamy cheese sauce seasoned with Cajun spice and baked till gently browned and bubbling.

Storage and Reheat Methods

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight jar for up to two days. Reheat on a baking sheet covered loosely with aluminium foil at 325 degrees for 5-7 minutes, or until warm. Alternatively, reheat in an air fryer at 350 degrees for 1-2 minutes.


1. How to make shrimp paste?

Ans: Hand cutting half of the shrimp and pureeing the rest into a paste results in two textures of shrimp in each bite. Adding onions to the shrimp paste gives the shrimp a slight sweetness that contrasts nicely with the salty toast. A bit of ground pork adds fat to the shrimp mixture, keeping it wet even after it’s cooked.

2. Where Does Shrimp Toast Come From?

Ans: The actual origins of shrimp toast (also known as prawn toast) are subject to some discussion. Some believe it hails from Guangzhou, while others suggest Hong Kong.

3. What is shrimp toast made of?

Ans: Traditionally, shrimp toast begins with a shrimp paste flavoured with sweet garlic, scallions, and cilantro. It is then spread over white bread and cooked till crisp on the exterior and light on the inside.

4. How to toast shrimp paste?

Answer: To toast shrimp paste of any sort, lay a tiny slice on a double-thick sheet of foil and fold it up to cover it. Place it in a heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so, until fragrant.

5. What is the Chinese name for shrimp toast?

Ans: The dish is called haa dō si 蝦多士 in Cantonese. Haa means prawn, while dō si is a borrowed word from English meaning toast.

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