Tempura

Tempura is a very popular side dish in Japan and they are delicious! Usually made with battered, deep-fried seafood or vegetables, the crispy & flaky shell is a perfect contrast to the soft moist center, and due to the use of a light batter and short frying time, it’s much healthier than most fried food. As I said before, you can use both seafood and vegetable for this because they both have short cook time, the Ebi(shrimp) Tempura being the most famous of them all! This dish is simple, quick, and a good recipe if you are a beginner in the fanatically delicious (and not so healthy) world of deep frying. Since this is a side dish, you can have them with some soba or udon or ramen, or roll them up into sushi rolls, you can also just eat them with some rice! The possibility is endless, so let’s make this!

You’ll need these for the tempura:

  • 15 large shrimp
  • 10 fresh mushrooms
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 sweet potato
  • About 6 cups (1.5L) vegetable or peanut oil for frying
  • 2 cups (300g ish) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp (3g) baking powder
  • 2 1/2 cups (600ml) ice-cold water
  • Optional: (white onion, sliced fresh lotus root, carrots, scallop, fish and more)

You’ll need these for the dipping sauce:

  • 2 tbsp dashi
  • 2 tbsp mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce

How to make this:

  1. Peel, devein, the shrimps, but the tail shells need to be left intact. Make a couple light cuts across inside curve of each shrimp and gently press it flat on a cutting board
  2. In a deep, heavy-duty pot over medium heat, heat up the oil to about 160C or 325F degrees
  3. In large bowl add the icy water, then mix in the flour & baking powder, it is very important to not over whisk the batter because it creates gluten, which makes the crust not crispy, I would recommend using low protein flour like cake flour, and instead of whisking, stir the batter lightly with a chopsticks for less than 10 sec
  4. Dip shrimp and vegetables into batter and fry, turning occasionally, until golden, which takes about 2 min. If you try to fry shiso leaves (not recommended because it’s very dangerous for beginners), only coat 1 side, then drop, and place it in batter-side-down for about 1 min minute. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  5. Serve tempura immediately with dipping sauce, which you can make by heating up the dashi, mirin and soy sauce in a small saucepan until it just thickens

 

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