Sunday, June 29, 2008
Cut vegetables relatively thin (1/4"-1/2" thick) and seafood into small pieces. You want to do this because the batter fries quickly so thinner and smaller pieces of food will cook thoroughly in a short amount of time.
Use paper towels to dry the various pieces. Any liquid left will cause the oil to spatter during the frying process and that can be dangrous. Lightly dust vegetables and seafood in Cake Flour. Set aside.
Prepare batter. You will need 1 egg, 2/5 cups of chilled water (this is slightly less than 1/2 cup), and 3/5 cups of Cake Flour.
Mix egg yolk in a bowl, stir in chilled water and cake flour. Gently stir the mix together a couple of times. DO NOT mix incessantly until smooth because the batter will become too sticky. There will be clumps left in the mixture, that is ok. The mixture should be thick enough to coat a spoon but still fluid. (It should resemble pancake mix)
Add vegetable oil to a fryer or pot, heat to 350 degrees, coat vegetables and seafood in batter, shake a couple times to remove excess batter and drop into oil.
Gently flip pieces around a couple of times until lightly golden. This should not take more than 1 -2 minutes for vegetables and 3-4 minutes for seafood. Remove from oil onto a plate covered with paper towel to soak up excess oil. Transfer to serving platter and serve with tempura sauce (available in markets).
*I generally fry vegetable first, usually 3 at time depending on size of pot. Then I turn the heat up just a tad to fry the seafood. In between batches, make sure to remove any leftover small pieces of tempura batter in the pot. If you don't, they will start turning black and taint your tempura. It will not look pretty.
** You must work quickly as tempura should be eaten ASAP. If you leave it too long, the batter will no longer be crispy.
***This recipe calls for Cake Flour NOT Cake Mix. It can be found in the baking aisle of any market around the flour section.