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1 Lb. Large Tiger Shrimp, peeled and deveined and tail on
Canola Oil for frying
Ginger and Lime Dipping Sauce
1 Cup All-purpose flour
½ Tbsp. Japanese Mayonnaise mixed with splash of water
3 Oz. Ice water
4-6 Oz. Sparkling water
1 Tbsp. Corn starch
1 Lime, juiced
1 Tbsp. Honey
1 Tbsp. Patricia and Paul’s Lime infused olive oil
1 Tbsp. Patricia and Paul’s Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Fish sauce
1 Tsp. Soy sauce
1 Large Garlic clove, minced
½ Tsp. Fresh ginger, grated
½ Tsp. Chili crunch oil
1 Green onion, sliced
1) Make your dipping sauce. Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl and let sit for at least ½ hour to let the flavors marry. Whisk again before serving.
2) Add enough oil to a large pot so that you have at least two inches of oil. Heat until it is 355 – 375 degrees F.
3) Prep your tempura batter ingredients. You want everything to be very cold. Start by having your water and sparkling water in the refrigerator and ice cold. Sift the flour and cornstarch into a bowl and put that in the refrigerator for at least ½ hour to chill.
5) Place the shrimp on a cutting board and working with one shrimp at a time, hold the shrimp so its underside is facing up (the tail and the cut ends will face up), and using a little paring knife, cut small slices along the whole shrimp so that the shrimp lays flat rather remaining curled. Don’t cut all the way through. Straighten out the shrimp and put it to the side. Do this with all the shrimp.
11) Serve the shrimp on a platter with a bowl of the dipping sauce on the side. Enjoy!
NOTES: Ebi Tempura (Japanese Shrimp Tempura) with Ginger and Lime Dipping Sauce is going to be making regular appearances in your house. Unlike American style fried shrimp, these are light and crispy and get dipped into a sweet, tangy and slightly spicy dipping sauce this so good. No cocktail or tartar sauces here.
The recipe looks like there are tons of steps, but there really aren’t. I’ve just detailed it out to make sure your batter is really cold and that you’ve prepped your shrimp to get them straight (rather than curved like American fried shrimp). I love shrimp (in case you haven’t picked that up) and this is just another preparation that I’m loving.
Let’s get started with making the dipping sauce. Lots of great Asian flavors here and added help from some high quality, flavor infused olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The sweetness of the blackberry in the balsamic vinegar adds a really nice touch to this sauce. You can control the heat with how much of the chili crunch you use.
Put all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk. Put to the side for at least a half hour or cover and refrigerate overnight. The flavors just get better. If chilling overnight, let the dipping sauce come to room temperature before serving.
Let’s prepare the tempura batter ingredients. This is an unusual step for batters. But it really helps get the whole batter nice and cold which will make the shrimp super crispy. Put your water, sparkling water and the mix of flour and cornstarch in the refrigerator for at least a half hour. I usually just put everything in the fridge the night before so I’m ready to go.
When you are ready to make the batter, you’ll mix the Japanese mayonnaise and a little water to loosen it all up. Then add the rest of your plain cold water and the sparkling water to the bowl and stir. Start adding your flour and cornstarch mixture about a third at a time until everything is mixed. Don’t over mix this. Having some lumps is fine. I’ll also add an ice cube or two to the mix to keep it really cold. One tip: if you are making a lot of shrimp or cooking in batches, keep the batter refrigerated so it stays cold.
If you have bought your shrimp already shelled and deveined, you are ready to go. Otherwise, remove the shells and devein the shrimp. Leave the tails on. Dry them with paper towels.
Another difference between Ebi tempura and American fried shrimp is the shape of the shrimp. Japanese tempura shrimp, are straight, not curved.
To get the shrimp to stay straight, you need to cut small slits on the underside of the shrimp and lay it out straight. Don’t cut all the way through the shrimp. Make several slits, pressing down on the shrimp to lay it flat.
Once you’ve done this with all the shrimp, you are ready to fry them. Dip them into the batter and completely coat them. Let the excess fall off. Your canola oil should be heated to 355 – 375 degrees F. Check with a thermometer or do the batter drop test. Drop a small amount of batter into the oil and if it fries up immediately, the oil is the right temperature.
Add the shrimp to the oil and fry for about 2 minutes. Do not crowd the pan. There should be at least two inches of oil in the pot and there should be lots of room for the oil to expand without overflowing. You don’t want the shrimp to turn brown. They should be light in color and super crispy.
If you like this dish, be sure to try some of my other Asian inspired recipes.