Deep-Frying Asian style
I love tempura, when it’s done properly it’s such a clean tasting, fresh way of cooking and best of all it lends itself to so many different foods but most of all with my favourite, seafood.
I have been cooking and consuming tempura for many a year, the locations have varied but a good tempura dish lasts long in the memory. Squid is great cooked in tempura as are prawns. You can use some cheaper cuts of white fish cut into strips or some crunchy vegetables such as spring onions which, incidentally make a great garnish for a grilled steak.
For me there are three elements to a good tempura and all have equal billing as far as I am concerned. Taking a hot, deep fat fryer with clean oil as a given you need to have the following; good batter, fresh ingredients cut into sensible sized pieces and a great dipping sauce which matches the food you are cooking.
The batter is very easy to make and the secret is to use ice cold water, some use soda but I use water:
Recipe for Tempura Batter
1 egg yolk
1 cup (200ml) ice cold water
1 cup (100g) plain flour
Combine the water and the egg and stir thoroughly. Stir in the flour until it has just combined, don’t overwork, the batter should be a little lumpy. Keep cold until needed.
I have seen some recipes where a pinch of potato flour has been added to make the batter more crispy but it’s your choice.
All you need to do is make sure the oil is hot, your food has been washed and patted dry and your garnishes are all ready to serve. Don’t cook too many items at once or the temperature will drop. Crispness is the key to a good tempura so cook less more often.