I couldn’t be more excited to share my little creation of Vegan Air Fryer Sesame Mogo Toasts with you. A lighter, vegan take Chinese restaurant favourite, sesame prawn toast using spiced cassava (mogo) to replace the shrimp.
Make these in an air fryer or conventional oven. The results are perfect every time. The vegan sesame toasts crisp up beautifully. As a result, there’s no need to deep fry. They’re the ultimate vegetarian snack to make in an air fryer.
I like to butter the base for a super toasty finish without it getting too dry (I use soft vegan butter from a tub or you can use regular butter if you’re not vegan).
So what replaces the shrimp?
I’ve spent ages thinking about what could replace the sticky shrimp that tops the bread before it gets dipped in a sea of creamy-coloured sesame seeds. Mogo (also known as cassava) was the winning answer!
The rich texture of mashed mogo (pronounced Muhogo in Swahili to those from East Africa) is the perfect natural glue to capture hundreds of tiny sesame seeds. It has a neutral flavour, therefore, you can spice up the mixture however you like.
Cassava is a staple source of carbohydrates, commonly eaten in Africa, India and China, as well as in parts of South America where it is called yuca. Countless Indian restaurants all over the UK serve it up in various delicious ways. Chilli Mogo is a very popular menu item, for example. Note that you can use either fresh or frozen mogo in this recipe.
Popular Mogo Dishes
- Chilli Mogo
- Tandoori mogo
- Grilled mogo with chilli powder, lemon juice and salt (Mombasa Lighthouse style)
- Mogo Bhajiya
- Mogo Crisps (salted or with chilli and lemon)
- Pili-Pili Mogo
How long does it take to cook mogo?
- The mogo will take around 20 minutes to cook with a boil method.
- Mogo chips will cook in the pressure cooker in around 10 minutes.
- If you choose to steam the mogo, it will take approximately 20 minutes to cook through.
How to test if mogo is cooked
Does a sharp knife slide in to the thickest part of the chip without resistance? If it does, you’re good to go. If it doesn’t, cook the mogo chips a little longer. Of course, you could always just taste one to check!
How to make vegetarian sesame prawn toast
Use mashed cassava (mogo). For flavour, I go for a bit of an Indo-Chinese mix. Ginger, spring onions, chillies, coriander, lemon juice and soy sauce. You can also add a pinch of garam masala or Chinese 5-spice if you like. Indeed, if you’re not opposed to a pinch of MSG, this also adds bags of flavour.
What type of bread should I use for sesame toast?
Slather white bread (or brown bread if you prefer that) with the spiced mogo mash. Next, press the toast face-down in a sea of sesame seeds so it sticks like glue.
Of course, you can use any bread you like, as long as it’s thin or medium thick slices from a loaf. Super chunky rolls might throw the bread:filling:sesame ratio off.
The whole process reminds me so much of doing arts and crafts at school!
A healthier take on sesame toast
The beauty of these golden toast triangles is that there’s no need to deep fry like with conventional sesame toast from takeaways and restaurants.
I pop them right into the basket of my air fryer for a crispy finish without all the grease. They’re light, buttery and so perfect as a party starter. You can also enjoy them as a snack, with chai, for instance.
What’s are some good Indo-Chinese dishes?
How to make Air-Fryer Sesame Mogo Toasts
Time needed: 30 minutes
A vegetarian take on Chinese takeaway-style sesame prawn toast. These are so simple to make and pack bags of flavour!
- Cook the mogo (cassava)
Boil frozen mogo (cassava) in salted water until very tender, then drain and mash immediately using a potato masher. You can use fresh, peeled mogo if you have access to that. If not, pick up a bag in the frozen section of your local supermarket. It is sometimes labelled Yuca too. The reason why you need to mash it straight away is because as it cools, the starches in the mogo get to work, making it difficult to mash effectively. I don’t recommend using a food processor because it will become glue-like in consistency. Just go in with a potato masher and remember that a few small lumps are fine.
- Season the mogo
Next, I add the following ingredients: finely chopped spring onions (white and green parts), chopped chillies, grated ginger, lemon juice, chopped fresh coriander, light soy sauce and a little bit of salt if required. Taste the mixture to see if it needs the salt before you add it as the soy sauce is salty. Like potatoes, mogo calls for a generous amount of seasoning. You can also add a pinch or two of garam masala or Chinese 5-spice if you like but it’s great without if you don’t have it. Give everything a good mix.
- Prepare the bread
Now, take a slice of bread and butter one side with softened butter. I use softened vegan butter from a tub but you can also use regular butter if you’re not vegan. This buttered side will be the base of the toast. Place it on a plate, buttered side down (some of the butter might come off onto the plate a little but don’t worry about that). Spread the naked (unbuttered) side with 2-3 tablespoons of the spice mogo mash and use a knife or the back of a spoon to spread it out evenly. Be sure to take it right to the edges of the bread.
- Add the sesame seed crust
Pour out some sesame seeds on to a separate plate and place the bread, mogo face down right on top of the seeds to encrust the entire surface. Pick the bread up and make sure all the seeds are pressed in (be gentle!). Set aside and repeat for the remaining bread slices. My recipe should make 6 full slices of toast (to be cut into triangles later) but it will depend on the size of your bread slices. In any case, the recipe should feed 4-6 people as a starter/appetizer.
- Cook the sesame mogo toasts
Pre-heat your air fryer to 200ºC for 3 minutes to get it nice and hot and place your first slice directly into the basket, sesame side up. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until nicely golden all over. You can remove it halfway to dab some extra butter on top for extra toasty sesame seeds but that’s a personal choice. Remove from the air fryer using a large flat spatula and with a sharp knife, slice into four even triangles. Repeat this process for the remaining toasts. You can keep the toasts warm in a low oven while you make the rest. Serve immediately, garnished with extra chopped spring onion greens.
How to make Air-Fryer Sesame Mogo Toasts in the oven
Don’t have an air fryer? Cook the toasts in a conventional oven at 200ºC (fan). Just place the slices on an oven-safe wire rack with a baking tray underneath. This ensures the heat circulates around the toast evenly, preventing a soggy base.
Air-Fryer Sesame Mogo Toasts recipe
- 6 slices white or wholemeal bread
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- 40 g white sesame seeds
- 250 g frozen mogo (also known as cassava or yuca)
- 2 spring onions (finely chopped)
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 2 chillies (finely chopped)
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- Extra chopped spring onion greens, for garnishing
- Boil the mogo in salted water until tender. Drain and mash whilst hot (it won't mash if it's cold). You're after a puréed texture but some small lumps are fine. A potato masher is the best tool for this – don't use a food processor or it will become like wallpaper paste.
- Add the spring onions, chilli, ginger, lemon juice, coriander, soy sauce and salt. Mix thoroughly.
- Spread one side of a bread slice with butter. Flip it over and spread 2-3 tbsp of the mashed mogo mixture on top, right to the edges. Repeat for all of the bread slices. Remember, the buttered side should be on the base.
- Place the sesame seeds on a plate and place the cassava side of the bread face down, directly into the sesame seeds to encrust the entire surface. Pick the slice up and keep aside on a tray whilst you repeat for the remaining slices.
- Place the toast in the air fryer at 200°C/400°F fan for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. I had to cook one at a time due to the space limitations in my air fryer. You can also cook in a pre-heated oven at 200°C/400°F for 10-12 minutes or until crispy.
- Slice into triangles and serve sprinkled with extra spring onion greens. I love these with chai but they also make for a delicious starter for parties.