Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mark Bittman's Sesame Shrimp Toasts & Egg Drop Soup: A Quick and Easy Meal

It's Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs and (sniff :-( sniff), our last potluck with Mark Bittman, in fact there is just one more week of Bittman after this and then we switch to our new chef/cook, Giada DeLaurentiis. I wanted something that was fast to make, that I could make from items already in my pantry/fridge/freezer, and especially something that tasted great. I got them all with Bittman's Sesame Shrimp Toasts and Egg Drop Soup.

Both recipes are from my favorite Bittman book, "Kitchen Express." I know I keep saying it but if you don't own this book, add it to your list. Every single quick and easy recipe sketch I have made from this book has been delicious. It is the perfect book to have when you need a fast dinner from your pantry.

Sesame Shrimp Toasts
"Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express"

Bittman says, "Better than any version you've had in a restaurant."

Heat the oven to 475 degrees F. Slice a baguette in half lengthwise, put the halves face up on a baking sheet, and set them in the oven while it heats. Put shrimp in a food processor with some butter, scallions, soy sauce, a few drops of sesame oil, and a pinch each of sugar and salt. Pulse until the mixture forms a chunky pasta. Smear the shrimp paste all over the bread and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until the shrimp paste is pink and cooked through and the bread is crisp, about 10 minutes. Cool a bit, then cut up and serve with a salad. (or soup!) ;-)

Egg Drop Soup
"Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express"

Bittman says, "Nothing could be easier."

Bring a quart of stock (chicken or vegetable) to a slow bubble; gently pour four beaten eggs into the stock while stirring. Add soy sauce to taste and garnish with some chopped cilantro or scallions; a little sesame oil is nice, too.

Notes/Results: A simple comfort food dinner that comes together in less than 20 minutes and tastes really good. Make the shrimp toasts, then while they are baking, make the soup. I just made a cup's worth of the soup with some homemade stock and one egg, and it was perfect with a few pieces of the crunchy / creamy shrimp toasts. I might add some frozen green peas the next time for a bit more color and texture. The shrimp toasts are really good with the thicker baguette bread and not oily like the ones you get in Chinese restaurants often are. They would work well as a fun and simple appetizer. I would make both of these recipes again.

You can see what the other IHCC participants made for their potluck dishes by going to the post here and following the links.

To double the Potluck fun, I am also sending these sesame Shrimp Toasts and Egg Drop Soup to the Friday Potluck Party at EKat's Kitchen.



  1. Do you know that I've never had shrimp toasts? I really feel like I'm missing out! And, that egg drop soup couldn't be any easier. I'm definitely going to be making myself a cup of that for lunch soon :-)

    And, I agree. Kitchen Express is probably my favorite book of his too. Then again, my favorite Nigella book was Nigella Express. I think I see a pattern here.............

  2. Wow...shrimp with toast...vever heard of them...
    love toasts.....together ????
    they ll rock I think :)

  3. yum, looks like something I've had in Osaka :)

  4. 2 of my favourite Chinese dishes! Yum!

  5. Oh I am SO going to miss Bittman! Giada will have to learn to fill that void in my life. But she has BIG shoes to follow!

    I love egg drop soup, especially one that's immersed in flavor like this one!

  6. Mmm, delicious meal - and such a pretty presentation! I'll miss Bitty too, but I am also looking forward to Giada. Bring on the pasta! ☺

  7. Deb, this looks to die for!! I love shrimp (miss having same-day fresh) and think that this recipe is a definite "must-try". I can't wait to share this with my dad, who goes shrimping on his boat regularly. Great post - and thanks for bringing to my potluck!


  8. Ooooh, Deb, love the look of those shrimp toasts and that soup. Ok, so now I really have to get that book :-)

  9. Kim--you need to try these then! I am with you on the "Express" books--I like quick & easy! ;-)

    Tanvi--I bet you would love them--very tasty! ;-)

    Kat--Thanks--these are easy and good and don't require a ton of shrimp. ;-)

    Foodycat--mine too, and who knew how easy and good they are to make at home!

    Joanne--Giada will have to work hard lol! Although I have made several of her recipes and really enjoyed them. ;-)

    Natashya--thanks! I'll still cook with Bittman and I am looking forward to delving into Giada's recipes more too.

    Erin--Hope you like it. Thanks for hosting a fun virtual potluck--I'll be back! ;-)

    Sue--Although I have an addiction and shouldn't influence others in this area...BUY THIS BOOK! It really is pretty awesome. ;-)


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