We're of the belief that tostadas make anything better -- the salty, crunchy goodness means you can raise your favorite foods up high on a sort-of flavor pedestal. And in the realm of tostada hierarchy, this Thai shrimp tostada is major. And I should know because I pretty much never met a tostada I didn't like.
Huevos Rancheros are my brunch dish of choice almost every time because of that tostada.This recipe is one of those situations where the parts themselves are in fact as awesome as the whole, because it's basically avocado toast (tostada-ified) with a super funky, spicy Thai dressing and a sweet-spicy charred grilled shrimp. I imagine that any leftover dressing or shrimp would be equally fabulous on a salad but I can't speak to it firsthand because I have yet to have any leftovers.
plus more for garnish
trimmed and peeled (can substitute red onion)
thinly sliced into half moon shapes
For the tostadas: Heat oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Brush both sides of tortillas with 1 tablespoon of the oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
Tostada can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cover at store at room temperature until ready to use.
For the shrimp: Toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, 3/4 teaspoon cayenne, and a pinch of salt and toss to coat. Heat a large cast iron or heavy-bottomed over medium high heat. Add shrimp in a single layer (you may need to do this in batches) and cook until pink about 2 minutes per side. Flip and cook. Repeat with remaining shrimp.
For the dressing: Combine 1/2 cup of the cilantro, the remaining 1/4 cup of the oil, 1/2 of the chile (remove seeds if you don't like spicy), lime juice, shallot or red onion, garlic, fish sauce, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar in a blender and process until smooth, at least 30 seconds. Taste and, if you like it spicier, add remaining chile and blend.
Dressing can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cover at store refrigerated until ready to use.
For the assembly: Mash up avocados, divide, and spread among tostadas. Toss cucumber and tomatoes with 1/2 cup of the dressing then divide among tostadas. Top with shrimp, nuts, and additional herbs and serve drizzled with additional dressing, as desired.
Looking to try more tostadas? Check out this Ahi Poke Tostada recipe.