Just as everyone has a preference as to how to have their eggs, steak or bacon I’m very fussy about my tempura too, its lightness, what to dip it in and what vegetables are used is very crucial. Tempura is and will always be one of my most favourite snacks and has prompted many a visit to another of my favourite restaurants, Zuma.
Accessed through a dodgy looking alleyway in one of London’s most prestigious addresses, Zuma belongs to an era when the hedge fund lot ruled the world and money was no issue. It seems to have somehow servived the credit crunch to both my relief and disappointment, relief because it’s still as good as it used to be, disappointment because it’s still difficult to get a table! Nothing much, apart from the clientel, has changed. You still have the same buzzy atmosphere as you walk in, fabulous cocktails, a table at the bar (with the exact menu as anyone who’s booked a table, only difference being, depending on what side of the bar you sit, you may leave a bit whiffy) and incredibly good food.
I do digrace. For someone who’s rarely fazed by recipes I had never attempted to make tempura until last weekend. Whether it’s because I’ve been daunted by the prospect or because it had just never occurred to me that I could do it myself I’m not sure. Last weekend however all that changed, I decided to treat myself at home and have to say I was quite pleased with the results.
There are so many recipes and methods that one could use but I preffered the one below as it left the batter very light and crunchy. Some people use eggs in the batter but I found that this leaves it rather heavy. Ensure that you prep everything else before you make the batter and that you don’t over mix it as the bubbles in the water help airate it making for very light tempura.
I have to admit that the most difficult part of the whole process was deciding whether to have it with soy sauce or Wasabi mayonnaise, the latter won. Try it and let me know what you think!
100g corn flour
150g plain flour
10g baking powder
Iced Sparkling Water
Vegetable oil for frying
Fish & Veg
Prawns (King Prawns preferably)
Sweet Potato (par-boiled)
· Clean all your veg and devein the Prawns leaving the tail on (as otherwise they curl up when cooking) and pat dry with kitchen paper or tea towel
· Heat the oil
· Mix all the flours, baking powder and add the water whisking very gently until the batter is very light, (lightly coats the back of a spoon). It’s fine if there are lumps in the mixture
· Dip your vegetables and Prawns into the batter and immediately drop into the hot oil
· Remove when they have turned golden brown
· Serve with a dollop of Mayonnaise mixed with as much Wasabi as you can stand