We’ve eaten a lot of tostadas over the years, but the first time we served these at a family dinner, a chorus of mmms filled the room. (And each time after, for that matter!) What’s the secret to rendering everyone at the table speechless? It starts with pureeing shrimp with hot sauce—making a creamy shrimp paste to spread over tortillas—and then topping the tostadas with sesame seeds, fresh avocado, and slaw. The result is so good, we dare you to find the adjectives to describe it!
- In a food processor, combine the shrimp, garlic, hot sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Pulse until the mixture is a sticky but coarse paste, about 1 minute.
- Using a rubber spatula, spread about 1/4 cup of the shrimp mixture over each tortilla, evenly and to the edges. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the shrimp paste and gently press down on the seeds so they adhere well to the mixture. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, carefully add one tortilla, paste-side down, and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Use a pair of tongs to carefully flip and fry the other side until crispy like a chip, 1 to 2 more minutes. Transfer the fried shrimp tostadas to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cashew crema, lime juice, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the cabbage and cilantro and mix until the cabbage is well dressed and creamy.
- Top the tostadas with the cabbage slaw and additional hot sauce.
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the cashews, and cook at a rapid simmer for 20 minutes.
- Drain and rinse the cashews under running water and transfer them to a high-speed blender. Add the lemon juice, salt, and 11/2 cups of water. Blend until the crema is completely creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. The crema can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 1 month. If freezing, make sure to blend the crema once it’s thawed to emulsify it again.