Cajun Tempura Prawns.
Tempura Prawns (Traditional Cajun Style)
The recipe for tempura was introduced to Japan by Portuguese Jesuit missionaries particularly active in the city of Nagasaki also founded by the Portuguese, during the sixteenth century (1549). Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, reportedly loved tempura. Originally, tempura was a popular food eaten at street venders called yatai since the Genroku era. Today, tempura is still a popular side dish at home, and is frequently eaten as a topping at soba stands.
- 12–16raw prawns, peeled, deveined, tails left intact
- 500 gskinless, boneless firm white fish fillets
- 350 gfrozen lotus root, peeled, thinly sliced
- 1eggplant, halved, cut into 5 mm slices
- 1sweet potato, peeled, cut into 5 mm slices
- 90 g(2 cups) baby spinach leaves
- 8spring onions, cut into short lengths
- 250 gfresh mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
- 4 tbspgrated daikon, to serve
- 2 tbspfinely grated fresh ginger, to serve
- 750 ml(3 cups) vegetable oil
- 125 ml(½ cup) sesame oil
- 250 ml(1 cup) ice-cold water
- 1 pinchof bicarbonate of soda
- 110 g(¾ cup) plain flour or tempura flour
- 60 ml(¼ cup) mirin (sweet rice wine)
- 2 tbspshoyu (Japanese soy sauce)
- 250 ml(1 cup) dashi
- 1 pinchsalt
Specially formulated tempura flour is available in worldwide supermarkets. This is generally light (low-gluten) flour, and occasionally contains leaveners such as baking powder.Tempura generally does not use breadcrumbs (panko) in the coating. Generally, fried foods which are coated with breadcrumbs are considered to be furai, Japanese-invented Western-style deep fried foods, such as tonkatsu or ebi furai (fried prawn).
Prepare the prawns, fish and all of the vegetables in advance. Arrange on a tray, cover, and refrigerate until serving time.
The table setting for each person is a plate lined with a paper napkin for draining the fried food, a small bowl for the sauce and another small bowl with 1 tablespoon of grated daikon and 2 teaspoons of grated fresh ginger.
To make the tempura sauce, heat the mirin in a small saucepan, remove from the heat and ignite with a match.
Shake the pan gently until the flame dies, then add all of the other ingredients and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature, taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Set aside.
No more than 10 minutes before serving, make the tempura batter and stand the bowl in a larger bowl containing ice. Break the egg into a bowl with the iced water and beat until frothy. Add the bicarbonate of soda and flour and beat just until the flour is mixed in — do not overmix. The batter should be thin; if it seems too thick, add a few drops of iced water.
Heat the vegetable and sesame oils in a large heavy-based frying pan, electric frying pan or deep-fryer to 180°C.