I had a hankering for some tempura so Master and I created pure tempura bliss in the kitchen last night. We prepped some prawns and scallops:
(The prawns were summarily de-shelled and de-veined and the scallops pushed onto toothpicks in groups of four or five.)
In the veggies department we had eggplant, red & green capsicum, onion, green beans, sweet potato and pumpkin:
In Japan you generally get eggplant, sweetpotato, green beans, okura, green peppers (not bell peppers, but non-hot chilli peppers). In Australia if you order tempura in a restaurant you generally end up with dirty great big hunks of potato and other stuff that I wouldn’t dream of serving as tempura.
We dusted the prawns and scallops with some flour so they would hold the batter better. We used some pre-mix tempura flour that you just mix with ice-cold water but for a traditional batter you’d use 140g plain flour, 2 eggs and 400ml of water to make enough for all of our ingredients (probably 4 servings).
Just mix the batter enough so that it is combined or you’ll activate the gluten in the flour and make it heavy. You still want to have lumps of flour and things in there to make it light & crispy.
Then you coat:
Fry at 180 degrees (you can add a few drops of sesame oil to the vegetable oil to make it even scrummier):
And you end up with tempura bliss:
I made mine into a tendon (tempura bowl) by putting down a bed of rice and making a dipping sauce from 120ml of dashi, 2 tbs mirin and 2tbs soy sauce that you just warm together. Traditionally you woud grate some daikon radish and ginger and add small amounts of that to the dipping sauce too. Oh, and a little bit of salt on a plate is FANTASTIC with tempura too. You just ‘dip’ it into the salt so the tiniest amount sticks to the batter and the flavour just EXPLODES across your taste buds.
I ate TOO MUCH and felt ill for the rest of the night.
(Note to self: a big bowl of tempura is not the best thing to have when you’re on a diet…)