Shrimp Toast-Panamanian Style

A few months ago I tried my hand at these yummy shrimp toasts, they turned out delicious. A few days ago I had some leftover shrimp and bread, so I thought I’d make them again. This time I went for a Latin twist, as promised. There are a couple of things I should point out about the ingredients.

Bread last time I used sliced white bread, crusts removed and cut into triangles. This time I had a few bolillos (French rolls) laying about, so I just sliced those into rounds and called it a day. Also, it is best to have day old bread.

Recao: In Panama, you can go to the little corner store and ask the store keeper for as much recao as you need, it is usually sold in 25 cents increments. I know. Crazy. Anyway, to us, Panamanians, recao is a combination of aromatics used as the base for most dishes we cook. These aromatics will be diced, sliced, chopped or pureed depending on your recipe needs.

Recao verde has garlic, onion, green bell pepper, parsley, green onions and culantro.

Then there’s recao rojo, which consists of onion, garlic, red bell pepper, culantro and tomato. This is the one used for this recipe.

Shrimp Tostadas

3/4 cp shrimp, peeled & deveined
1/2 cp onion
1/4 cp red bell pepper
2 tbsp each cilantro and parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp hot sauce (preferably habanero based)
2 tbsp butter, softened
2 egg whites
2 tbsp cornstarch
12-15 bread slices
Oil for frying

Place all the aromatics into a food processor and chop until fine. Then add the shrimp and pulse until the shrimp is pretty fine. Change the blade to a dough hook or transfer to a mixing bowl and add the hot sauce, eggs, cornstarch and butter. Mix well.

Slice the bread, if necessary, to about 1/4 inch thickness. Top each slice of bread with 1-2 tbsp of the shrimp mixture. Keep them refrigerated until you’re ready to fry them.

Use a medium-sized skillet and add enough oil to come up to about 1-inch and heat over medium heat. You want the oil to be hot enough to sizzle, but make sure it is not too hot or it will brown the outside before cooking the inside.

Brown the toast side first. Don’t stray away too far, the bread will brown rather quickly. Flip to the side with the filling and allow it to fry for a few minutes. Remove from the oil and allow it to drain before serving.

These make for a great snack and freeze well if you don’t want to cook them all at once. Serve warm and enjoy!

Cookingly yours,


6 thoughts on “Shrimp Toast-Panamanian Style

  1. I really have to stop looking at foodies before lunch. It messes up my mind and makes me want to ditch my brown bag for something like this!! nom!

  2. marcelina says:

    Oh, oh, shrimps. One of my favorite foods!!! I will be trying this one for sure. No excuses this time.
    All of the ingredients are at my fingertips, recao rojo an all…Loving it. Gracias Anamaris!

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