A crispy and delicious appetizer that will have your guests coming back for seconds.
Crispy Vegetable and Shrimp Tempura
- Dipping Sauce
- 2 scallions, minced
- ¼ cup soy sauce, plus as needed
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp minced ginger root
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp hot chili sauce, plus as needed
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 2 cup ice cold water
- ¼ cup dark sesame oil
- ½ lb large shrimp (2&frac63;0 count), peeled but tail shell intact, deveined, straightened
- 1 cup red pepper strips
- 1 cup yellow pepper strips
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup quartered mushrooms
- 1 small zucchini, peeled but tail shell intact, deveined, straightened cut on the diagonal
- ⅛ inch thick
- 1 small yellow squash, peeled but tail shell intact, deveined, straightened cut on the diagonal cut on the diagonal
- ⅛ inch thick
- Salt and pepper as needed
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
For the dipping sauce: Combine the scallions, soy sauce, water, vinegar, honey, ginger, garlic, mustard, and hot sauce in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate to let the flavors blend for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours. Taste and adjust the seasoning with soy sauce and hot sauce before serving.
For the batter: Whisk together the flour and baking powder. Add the cold water and sesame oil all at once and whisk until about the thickness of pancake batter and very smooth. Refrigerate until ready to prepare the tempura.
Leave the tail shell on the shrimp (to serve as a handle) and massage the underside of the shrimp to straighten. Blot the shrimp and vegetables dry, season with salt and pepper, and dip them in the batter to coat evenly.
Pour the oil into a tall pot to a depth of 3 inches. Heat over medium heat until the oil registers 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Work in batches to avoid crowding. Slip the batter-coated shrimp and vegetables into the hot oil. Deep fry until the batter is golden brown and puffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the vegetables, if necessary, to brown and cook evenly. Remove from the pot with tongs and drain briefly on absorbent towels. Serve the vegetables at once with the dipping sauce.
This and other delicious recipes can be found in Vegetables, the CIA’s latest cookbook, available now at bookstores or athttp://www.ciaprochef.com/fbi/enthusiasts.html.
Makes 4 to 6.