Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura
While tempura may not be everyday food, it is worth making it once in a while. This is one of my favorite ways to eat shrimp and I recommend buying fresh shrimp to get the best taste. My kids LLLove it. I tried to keep the shrimp from curling around like they are, but I was told later by my mom that I had to “squeeze” the shrimp with two fingers in the places that I had made cuts. I’ll explain later. So they don’t look exactly like the jumbo shrimp at the Japanese restaurant, but it still tasted good, so there. Here are some tips on making tempura:
1. Keep the batter cold.
2. Do not over mix the batter.
3. Fry in hot oil at 350 degrees F.
4. Fry in small batches.
5. Eat soon after frying or it will become soggy
Also, I want to add that this recipe makes more dipping sauce than you might need. If you have extra, please save this “liquid gold” because it will be good with simmered vegetables or in a Japanese egg omelette.
Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura
3 ounces fresh shrimp, about 6 large
½ medium sweet potato, cut into oval ¼-inch slices
3 ounces green beans, ends trimmed
For the batter
1 cup flour
1 cup liquid (cold water plus 1 egg)
3 cups oil, for frying
Tempura dipping sauce (Tentsuyu)
1 cup dashi stock
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon grated daikon, for serving
1. Bring the dashi stock to a boil, then turn down the heat and bring the stock to a simmer. Add the soy sauce, mirin and sugar and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
2. Peel the shrimp, but leave the shell one joint from the tail and also the tail. Make a small slit along the back curve and remove the vein with your finger or a skewer. Make 3 cuts in the side of the shrimp; use your fingers to squeeze the cuts and spread out the shrimp. This helps prevent it from curling.
3. Mix the egg with the cold water. Add the flour and stir the batter gently; try not to overmix. Keep the batter as cold as possible. If some flour is still visible on the surface, that’s okay. The batter will be thin and lumpy.
4. Heat the oil in pot to 350 degrees. Fry the vegetables first, then the shrimp. Dip the sweet potato in the batter, letting the excess batter drip off before putting it in the oil. There will be big bubbles and a popping sound at first. Add a few more sweet potatoes, making sure not to crowd the pan. The potatoes are done when the bubbles around it become small and they are just starting to change color, about one minute. Drain all the fried foods on a baking rack with a pan underneath to catch the excess oil. Next, dip the green beans into the batter, 2 or 3 beans at a time, and then into the hot oil. If you nudge the beans together just after you put them in the oil, they will stick to each other. Remove the green beans from the oil just as they change color, about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp, holding each by the tail and dipping it in the batter, then into the oil. The shrimp will be cooked within 20 seconds. Drain and serve immediately with warm tentsuyu dipping sauce. Add grated daikon to the dipping sauce.