Tempura is a Japanese dish made of seafood or vegetables. It is dipped in batter and deep fried. It was introduced by Portuguese missionaries and traders to the Tokugawa shogunate and it gained popularity since then. If you get a chance to visit Portugal, try a dish called peixinhos da horta or “garden fishies”, the ancestor of Japanese tempura.
12 to 15 large shrimps or prawns
1/2 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup Japanese bread crumbs (panko)
3 to 4 cups vegetable oil for deep-frying
Tempura dipping sauce (tentsuyu):
1/2 cup dashi stock (powdered dashi dissolved in water)
1/8 cup mirin
1/8 cup light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 tablespoons grated radish
To prepare the dipping sauce, heat the mirin in a pan under medium heat. Pour in the dashi and soy sauce. Once it boils, stir in the sugar, ginger and radish. Mix well until the sugar granules dissolve. Set aside.
Wash the shrimps and remove the heads. Next, peel and devein them, but make sure to leave the tail. Pat-dry the shrimps using paper towels. Sprinkle them with salt.
Heat the cooking oil under medium heat. Prepare the coating ingredients. Place the flour, egg and panko in separate shallow bowls.
Hold the shrimp by the tail and coat it with flour. Shake off the excess and then dip it in the beaten egg. Next, roll it into the panko and transfer to a plate. Repeat the same procedure for the remaining shrimps. Do not put them on top of each other, instead line them up.
Test the oil if it is hot enough by dropping a teaspoonful of leftover egg. If it sinks, the oil is not hot enough. If it browns too fast, lower the heat because it is too hot. Fry 6 pieces of shrimp at a time for 30 seconds to a minute or until they are golden brown. Place the cooked shrimp on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the oil or you can use a strainer as well. Check the oil in between batches to make sure it is hot enough. Scoop out the crumbs that have fallen off to prevent them from burning, continue to fry the shrimp in batches until all are cooked.
Serve warm with tentsuyu (tempura dipping sauce) and rice.
Photo Courtesy Of: kashmut