Fullbean Traditional Tempura



Tempura Ingredients - Traditional

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water
1 egg
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Vegetable oil
1 pound peeled shrimp or 4 cups vegetables such as onion rings, green pepper slices, zucchini slices or spears, peeled and sliced sweet potatoes, mushrooms, sliced carrots, string beans or asparagus

Directions
In a medium bowl, combine flour, water, egg, salt, sugar and baking powder. Whisk thoroughly (or use egg beaters) until mixture achieves the consistency of whipping cream. Refrigerate 15 minutes. If mixture becomes too thick, stir in a little water until the consistency again resembles whipping cream.

Pour oil into a large pot to a depth of at least 2 inches. Bring temperature to 375 degrees (if you don’t have a thermometer, put a drop of the batter into the oil; it should fall to the bottom for a second, then rise to the top and sizzle gently. If it stays on the bottom the oil is too cold; if it immediately sizzles on top, it is too hot).

Dip shrimp or vegetables in batter and fry a few at a time (the temperature should drop to about 350 degrees). Flip a few times in the oil and fry on both sides until a light golden brown. Remove with a wire-mesh spider, strainer, slotted spoon or chopsticks to paper towels to drain. Serve with dipping sauce on the side, if desired.

Per serving (using shrimp): 468 calories; 29 g fat; 23 g saturated fat; 229 mg cholesterol; 28 g protein; 28 g carbohydrate; 1 g sugar; 1 g fiber; 193 mg sodium; 138 g calcium
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients - Modern Tempura

Recipe adapted from “The Food Lab,” by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt.

2 quarts peanut oil or vegetable shortening
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon sugar, optional
1 large egg
1/4 cup 80-proof vodka
1/2 cup ice-cold club soda
4 cups thinly sliced vegetables or 1 pound shrimp
Lemon wedges or dipping sauce (see recipe), for serving

Directions
Heat the oil to 375 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, put a drop of the batter into the oil; it should fall to the bottom for a second, then rise to the top and sizzle gently. If it stays on the bottom the oil is too cold; if it immediately sizzles on top, it is too hot.

Combine the cornstarch, flour, salt and sugar, if using, in a large bowl and stir to blend. Combine the egg and vodka in a small bowl and whisk until completely blended. Add the club soda and stir until barely combined. Immediately add to the bowl with the flour and, holding the bowl with one hand and a spoon in the other, shake the bowl back and forth while vigorously stirring until the liquid and dry ingredients are just barely combined. There should still be many bubbles and pockets of dry flour.

Add the vegetables and/or shrimp to the batter and fold with your hand to coat. Pick up the vegetables a few pieces at a time, allowing excess batter to drip off, and transfer to the hot oil, getting your hand as close as possible to the surface before letting go in order to minimize splashing.

Increase the heat to high to maintain the temperature as close to 350 degrees as possible, and add the remaining vegetables or shrimp a few pieces at a time. Immediately start agitating them with chopsticks, a wire-mesh spider or slotted spoon, separating the vegetables, flipping them and constantly exposing them to fresh oil. Continuing frying until the batter is completely crisp and pale blond, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Transfer tempura to a paper-towel-lined plate or baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with salt, unless serving with a soy sauce-based dipping sauce. Serve with lemon wedges or a dipping sauce.
Yield: 4 servings

Basic Dipping Sauce

Ingredients
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin or dry sherry

Directions Combine all ingredients and divide into 4 bowls. Serve at room temperature or warmer.
Yield: 4 servings

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