Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
for the curry:
1 ounce|25 grams ginger, peeled
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Fresno chiles, trimmed
2 small shallots, peeled
1 medium yellow onion, peeled
1-2 serrano peppers, trimmed
1 stalk fresh lemongrass, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup|55 grams Madras Curry powder
1 tablespoon palm sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 cups|1000 ml Kara coconut milk
1 cup|250 ml chicken stock
fish sauce, to taste
for the shrimp toast:
2 pounds|900 grams peeled and deveined shrimp
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cold schmaltz
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons ground white pepper
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons Shaoxing
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 large egg white
1/2 cup minced cilantro stems, plus leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 (1 1/2 pound) pain de mie
canola oil, for frying
1. Make the curry paste: Place the ginger, garlic, Fresno chiles, shallots, onion, Serrano peppers, and lemongrass in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until not quite smooth.
2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium. Add the curry paste and the curry powder and cook until the paste is soft, 6 minutes. Add the palm sugar and salt and cook 2 minutes more. Add the coconut milk and bring to a low simmer. Stir in the chicken stock and cook until reduced by about 1/3, about 15 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce and season to taste. Cool slightly, then pass through a fine mesh sieve. Return the curry to the saucepan and keep warm.
3. Place the shrimp, sugar, schmaltz, cornstarch, fish sauce, pepper, salt, Shaoxing, sesame oil, and egg white in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until almost a paste, but some chunks of shrimp remain. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cilantro stems, garlic, and ginger. Refrigerate until ready to use.
4. Dehydrate the bread: Heat the oven to 200°F. Slice the bread into 12 (1-inch) thick pieces and remove the crust. Place on a sheet tray and bake until slightly dry but still soft, about 17 minutes. Set aside.
5. Heat 2-inches oil in a large saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 350°F. Fry off a tablespoon of the shrimp mixture until puffed and cooked through, 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
6. Spread ⅓ cup of the shrimp mixture into an even layer onto one side of each of the pieces of bread, right up to the edges. Working in batches, fry the bread, shrimp mixture-side down to start, then flip and cook until crispy and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board to cool slightly before cutting lengthwise into thirds.
7. To serve, divide curry among bowls. Place one portion of shrimp toast on each plate and garnish with cilantro leaves.