Monday, 18 October 2010

Prawn Tempura

I'd been reading up a wee bit on Japanese cuisine recently - gemming up for Masterchef and all that... Anyway, I was reading about tempura and it reminded me just how moreish it is and how much I fancied some. So tempura for dinner it was!

Prawn tempura specifically. Tempura is a Japanese batter (though apparently originally introduced by the Portuguese) designed to give a finish that is light and crisp without the greasiness associated with a normal batter. It works best with seafood (think squid, prawn or meaty white fish) and vegetables (aubergine, carrot, greenbeans and baby sweetcorn work well), though it is fairly versatile.

So how do you make it...

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The following recipe is for the batter - I'm showing the prawns only because that's what I made.

You will need:

75g cornflour
75g plain flour
Pinch of salt and pepper
180ml soda water
1 egg

First pour enough oil into a heavy pan to deep fry your tempura. Stick the heat on the pan while you prepare the batter - it will take some time to reach the hot cooking temperature required.

The batter is very simple to make. Sift the cornflour and flour together into a bowl. Mix the salt and pepper in well before beating in the egg and soda water. Soda water is used to keep the batter light and airy.

Leaving lumps in the batter is okay - it shouldn't be perfectly smooth. The texture helps to give the crisp, distinctive look and feel to tempura.

Once the batter is ready, prepare your fish or vegetables - or whatever else it is you're planning to use.

To check that the oil is ready to use, throw a wee square of bread into the pan. It should turn golden brown and crisp up within 30 seconds.

Once the oil is ready, dip your selected filling into the batter to give a good coat. Allow any excess batter to drip off before putting the tempura into the pan to fry. It is also best to fry in batches if you are cooking a large quantity so as not to overcrowd the pan.

Prawns take around 2 minutes to cook, but the cooking time will vary depending on what you decide to use as the main ingredient. Once your tempura is cooked, simply place it onto some kitchen roll to absorb any excess oil.

Then serve as you will - either with a dipping sauce, or on a bed of leaves or rice with a sauce over the top. It's a great snack.


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A quick simple one today!

Coming up:

- I've a pumpkin pie recipe to do for Halloween in the next couple of weeks, so that'll definitely end up on here.
- My lovely mum gave me her Glasgow Cookery Book the other day, so I'll try to make something out of that I think.
- And finally I have a traditional Scottish recipe book on its way in the post, so I'll probably pick something from there to blog about too.

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