Tempura Batter Ingredients:
- 1 egg
- 1 cup of all-purpose white flour
- 1 cup ice-cold water
- pinch of baking soda
- Whisk egg in a mixing bowl
- Whisk in remaining batter ingredients to mix thoroughly, do not overdo the whisking, the goal is just to mix the ingredients together. Please note that it is essential to use ice water for the batter and the quicker the next steps are performed the better. The batter should be thin.
- Now comes the exciting part! It is important to begin frying the tempura as soon as the batter is mixed. Speed is of the essence. It is best to use long cooking "chop sticks" (Jap. hashi or long-handled tongs to place ingredients in the hot oil and an Asian-style mesh frying spoon to remove them. It is best (but be very very careful doing this) to dip the shrimp in the batter while holding the shrimp by the tail with your tongs or chop sticks. After the shrimp are dipped in the batter, let the excess batter drain off for a couple of seconds and then gently drop them in the deep fryer or wok. Be really careful! You should not put more that 6 pieces into the hot oil at one time to avoid pieces sticking together or having the oil cool too much. After each piece turns lightly golden brown, remove from oil and drain on a wire rack. A wire rack is actually superior to paper towels to drain tempura.
- After frying the Shrimp, dip the remaining ingredients in the batter (one at a time and don't overload the wok or fryer with too many pieces at the same time!)
- As with the shrimp each piece turns lightly golden brown, remove from oil.
- As soon as all the Tempura is cooked, serve immediately! One method to ensure that the Tempura is the very best it can be is to use an electric wok at the dinner table and to serve pieces as soon as they come out of the wok.
- Serve with the rice and dipping sauce.
- 12-16 large prawns/shrimp cleaned but with tails left on
- 1 can of Lotus Root*
- 1/2 pound of broccoli
- 8 spring onions
- 1 green Bell Pepper
- 1 sweet potato
- 1/2 white mushrooms
- 1/2 lb zucchini squash
- 1/2 lb carrots
It is essential that you make the Tempura in the order of steps listed below! For best results all ingredients should be cold not room temperature.
- Start by making rice. Japanese rice is short-grained and works best if it is thoroughly rinsed before using. Follow package directions.
- Prepare shrimp by removing legs and shell, being careful to retain the tail. Slice down the middle without cutting all the way through. Remove sand vein and rinse. Score diagonally in both directions on the outside to prevent curling.
- Cut Broccoli into large florets.
- Slice Sweet Potato, Zucchini and Carrots into 1/4 inch slices. The Zucchini and Carrots are best sliced on a long bias.
- Cut washed and trimmed Mushrooms in half.
- Slice Green Pepper in long strips 3/4" wide, remove seeds and section membranes.
- Trim the ends of the Spring Onion (Scallion)
- Heat at least 3" of peanut oil in a deep fat fryer or a wok to 350 degrees. Use a frying thermometer to ensure accuracy. Be very careful, as oil burns can be very serious!
Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
- 3 tablespoons of mirin* or dry sherry
- 3 tablespoons of Japanese soy sauce
- 1 cup of Dashi*
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
- 4 tablespoons of finely grated daikon root*
- 1 spring onion, sliced thin
- 2 cups Japanese rice*
* (obtainable in Japanese and many Asian grocery stores)
Dipping Sauce Preparation:
- Mix Dashi powder with cold water to make one cup (read package directions). If you are sensitive to MSG, look for Dashi Powder that does not have this ingredient (although "Ajinomoto" aka MSG, is an extremely popular ingredient in Japanese cooking).
- Add Mirin, Soy Sauce, Sugar (adjust to taste), grated Daikon and sliced Spring Onion (scallion).
Recipe by T. Johnston-O'Neill
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