4 individual chops
0 hours 20 mins
0 hours 40 mins
Canola oil, for frying
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups seltzer
2 large eggs
1 Cup Ice
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, underside sliced
2 Cups mixed vegetables
(green beans and mushroom caps sliced in half were my choice in this preparation)
2/4 Cup warm water
1 Tsp. Hondashi powder
3 Tbsp. Low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Mirin
2 Tsp. Sugar
1. Make the dipping sauce first. In a small saucepan add 1 teaspoon of Hondashi granuals or powder, 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar, and 3/4 cups water. Bring it to a boil for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat then pour in 3 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of Mirin. Give it a good thorough mix and serve on the side.
2. Heat 2 inches Canola oil in a heavy-bottomed pot until a deep-fry thermometer registers 380 degrees.
3. Meanwhile, whisk the flour, seltzer, eggs and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl until almost smooth. Add 1 cup ice cubes and stir into the mix.
4. Put the cornstarch on a flat plate and line a baking sheet with paper towels.
3. Working in batches, dredge some of the shrimp and vegetables in the cornstarch, then dip in the batter to coat, letting the excess drip off. Gently add to the oil and fry until crisp and lightly golden, turning a couple of time to cook all sides. (About 2 to 3 minutes) Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the prepared baking sheet to drain off the excess oil.
VERY IMPORTANT: Let the oil return to 380 degrees BEFORE starting your next batch of shrimp and veggies. If you don’t, the batter will get soggy and you won’t have that crispy, light crust you are going for. While the oil reheat, skim any floating batter out of the oil before adding the next batch.
Repeat with the remaining shrimp and vegetables. Serve with the dipping sauce.
NOTES: Making tempura is different than American style, deep-frying. The crust is lighter and almost see-through. It is a quick fry and you aren’t salting the shrimp and veggies when they come out of the oil like you do on American style fried items.
When you are draining them on the paper towel lined baking sheets, you may be inclined to think they are getting cold, they aren’t. Room temperature is absolutely fine with this preparation. The same is true for your dipping sauce-warm to room temp is just fine.
This is an easy and fast dinner to pull together is you have everything set up and ready to go. Set up your “breading station” with the prepared veggies, shrimp, cornstarch plate, batter and paper towel lined tray before you start frying.
Have your sauce made and poured into the dipping bowls and set on the plates so you are ready to go when frying is done.
A couple of tips to make this recipe easier for you:
. I do not cook Japanese very often so the first time I went looking for Hondashi, I didn’t know where to find it or what it was. It comes in a small jar in powder or granular form. I keep it in my spice cabinet. I ultimately bought it on Amazon and have used it for this dipping sauce (which is amazing BTW), and in broths. It does have a specific taste and I’m not sure it can be replaced. In traditional Japanese homes, they spend days preparing what we can buy in a jar so I definitely recommend purchasing it. It is not expensive. It is about $7 for 2.11 ounces on Amazon.
. Ever wonder why Tempura Shrimp are usually straight and not curled like shrimp automatically do when cooked? That is because of this little trick. If you cut little slits in the underside of the shrimp (the natural U shape is pointing up with tail and head in the air) it will allow the shrimp to lay flat and no curl when fried. Take a small paring knife and cut small slit on the underside across the entire length of the shrimp and then lay out flat. (See photo)
. When it comes to the vegetables, you can use any of your favorites. Green beans and mushrooms were used here (I cut mine in half so they cook a little more) but carrots and broccoli are also commonly used. If using those veggies, I would blanch them in boiling water a couple of minutes, drainn well and dry with paper towels before rolling in cornstarch and batter. That will soften them up a bit before frying. If you like a super crunchy veggie, you can fry them raw. I would just cut the carrots into small coins, and cut the broccoli florets small too.
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