Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tempting Tempura

Tempura, a staple of Japanese kitchens is a light and delightful dish, best when fried in very light oils. I have always considered it more of a cooking method than as a single dish. Tempura sauce has a slightly sweet, slightly tangy taste with a citrusy edge.  The sauce is best, like others of its type, when made up ahead of time and allowed to age slightly. I prefer to make it at least a day ahead

Tempura Dipping Sauce
3 Tbs Soya (Soy Sauce)

3 Tbs Dry Sherry (Japanese Mirin is traditional)

          1 tsp Ginger finely shredded
1 tsp Red Radish finely shredded (optional)
Dribble Calamansi or Lemon Juice (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate if not for immediate use.

Tempura Batter

Tempura batter fries light and crisp, traditionally used for vegetables and prawn the batter itself is highly adaptable for other more creative dishes. Keep in mind that Tempura batter does not hold well and should be mixed immediately before use.

1 medium Egg

½ cup cold water

Mix the flour and cornstarch and sift together into a bowl. This mix can be made up early and keeps well it can be stored the same any other flour. Place egg and cold water in a mixing bowl and whisk together; whisking constantly, slowly add your flour mix; whisk until smooth.

Bring it together

For this section I will try to keep it short. You can cook prawn, shrimp or almost any type of vegetable, Tempura style. It is simply a matter of taste. My wife loves Broccoli Florets and Asparagus tips. My preference is more toward Button Mushrooms and young French Beans. There is no right or wrong along as you remember a few basic points. Have your choice of items to be fried as dry as possible, the dryer they are the crisper your finished product. Soggy Tempura is not good. Dip items and place in oil immediately; only fry a few items at a time to avoid items sticking together or over cooling your oil. Cook until a light golden color, remove from oil with slotted spoon or tongs and place where they can drain all excess oil. I use paper towels or sponges in a pinch but my favorite method is to use, a bakers cooling rack, letting the oil drain into a pan for later recovery and reuse. Serve hot with the dipping sauce. ENJOY!

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