I have been eating ridiculous amounts of shrimp lately. And I couldn’t tell you why… other than that it just sounds *good* all of the time, all of a sudden. Although, in defense of my food-rut/obsession, each dish has been very different. I mean, does this dish look anything like the shrimp dish below?
Nope, no, sir. Didn’t think so. And, really, would it even matter, with a recipe for Tempura Shrimp this good? Just a hint, the secret is booze. Of course.
Tempura Shrimp with Soy-Ginger Dipping Sauce, adapted from the May/June Cook’s Illustrated, serves 2
- 1 quart canola oil
- 3/4 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
- 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 egg, yes, seriously
- 1/2 cup vodka
- 1/2 cup seltzer water
- kosher salt
- 1/8 cup soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons mirin
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 200°. At the same time, place the canola oil in a large pot, and heat it to 385º.
- While the oil and oven heat, prepare the tempura batter. In one bowl, mix the flour and cornstarch together. In a second bowl, whisk the vodka and egg together, and then add the seltzer water. Don’t mix the two halves of the batter together until the oil is heated. Also, at this time, make two small cuts on the underbelly of the shrimp, so that they lay flatter, and don’t curl up as much.
- Another step when the oil and oven are heating is to make the ginger-soy dipping sauce. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, toasted sesame oil, garlic, fresh ginger, and the scallion. Stir to combine, and set aside for serving.
- Once the oil is to 385°, combine the two halves of the tempura batter; whisking lightly. It’s fine if some lumps remain. Then, add the shrimp to the tempura batter, tossing to coat each piece. Using tongs to remove shrimp one at a time, and allowing the excess batter to drip off, add them carefully to the oil (the oil should now be at 400°). Fry, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Once done, remove from oil, and place on a paper towel lined plate, and sprinkle with salt. After the paper towels absorb the excess oil, place the shrimp on a wire rack set in a baking sheet, and place in the oven to keep warm and crisp. Once the oil gets back up to temperature, repeat the process with the remaining shrimp.
- If there is any excess batter, you can fry up vegetables of any sort, as well. I used some snow peas, and they were delicious. Once all finished, serve the tempura shrimp and vegetables with the ginger-soy dipping sauce. On the side, I added peanut soba noodles. Enjoy!