Tempura Prawn & Vegetable Spoons with Yuzu Tentsuyu Bath
Photo by Charlie Smith/Lauren Freeman
Chef Makoto Tokuyama, co-owner of Cocoro restaurant, has a talent for artfully blending the best of Japanese gastronomy with the finest locally sourced and unmistakably New Zealand ingredients. The results are sublime. As regulars of chef Tokuyama’s elegant, multi-award-winning dining room, Simply You Living has asked him to create, exclusively for us, a feast we could prepare for family and friends.
|1 cup||Water, ice-cold|
|12 pieces||Prawns, pikopiko, and baby carrots (4 pieces of each) or substitute for preferred ingredients|
|¼ tsp||Baking soda|
|1||Oil, soybean, to fry|
Yuzu Tentsuyu Sauce
- In a medium bowl, mix the water and the egg. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, starch and baking soda. Stir the flour mix into the egg mix. It’s okay if the batter is a little lumpy.
- If you are using prawns, peel, de-vein and wash them. Make some small cuts across the belly to keep prawns from curling during cooking.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan on a high temperature. Dust each of the prawns and/or vegetables with flour. Coat each in the batter. Place the coated ingredients in the hot oil, turning when the bottom side is browned. Place the fried ingredients on a paper towel to drain.
- Serve with yuzu tentsuyu for dipping (see below).
- It’s important to use ice-cold water for the batter to prevent it from absorbing too much oil.
- It’s good to make the batter right before frying tempura. Preparing it ahead of time is not recommended. Try not to overmix the batter or use toomuch when coating ingredients.
- If you are frying seafood and vegetables, do the vegetables first.
- It’s said that the right temperature to fry tempura is around 170-180degC. To check the temperature of frying oil, drop a little bit of batter in. If the batter rises to the surface right away instead of sinking to the bottom of the pan, it’s higher than 180degC. If the batter goes halfway to the bottom and comes up, it’s about 170degC.
Place ichiban-dashi, mirin, soy sauce and sugar in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Mix equal amounts of starch and water, then pour gradually into sauce to desired thickness. Remove from heat and add a pinch of yuzu kosho pepper paste.