Friday, November 11, 2005

This is not tempura

Well, my first attempt at crispy, tasty tempura at home didn't quite go as planned... I think deviated too much from the original recipe on this one...

I knew that the trick to crispy & tasty tempura was the drastic temperature difference between the batter and the oil, so I used ice water to thin my egg (1:6 ratio of egg to water), and added 2 cups of flour. My mistake was that I didn't follow the recipe exactly here - I forgot that the US cup was approximately 20% larger than the Japanese cup and I was following a Japanese recipe... Sniff. I also thought I'd be 'healthy' (yes, healthy tempura is an oxymoron) and I used WHOLE-WHEAT flour instead of regular flour. The result was...

tempura

not so crispy.

The crust was too glutenous and my fear for deep-frying got the best of me - the oil wasn't hot enough... Next time, I'll fry in hotter oil and use less flour for sure. And screw the 'healthy' tempura. I'll buy tempura flour at the Japanese grocery store! However, this was a good start and the deep-fried whatevers - they surely weren't tempura - was just as good as some of the (bad) Japanese restaurants around here. Oh well. Better luck and skills next time!

4 comments:

jd said...

A common technique is to put icecubes in the batter. They certainly stay cold longer than ice water.

The second point is to gently wiggle the tempura when you are putting it into the oil. It makes the batter spread out into a lacy covering. Try it if you are not doing it already.

I think you learned the lesson of whole wheat flour so I'll refrain from comment on that.

The Papa Bear said...

The Baby Bear, I'm your fearless Fry Chef (this reminds me of the SquarePants movie that I'm still chuckling about), so turn up the heat, Baby.

cafe1 said...

I too had to go and get a tempura mix after many failed attempts...but its all good.. part of the "learning" process, LOL! And I also have succumed to the fact that when it's tempura ya want, it aint gonna be healthy, LOL!

Alice said...

JD,

Yeh, I did the wiggle-wiggle thing, although when the Papa Bear took over, I think he just let it sink. I also think he put too many pieces in at once, thereby instantly lowering the temp of the oil...

Papa,

I think my fearless Fry Cook ain't got the skillz... yet.

Cafe1,

Definitely a learning process!! I don't know what I was thinking with the healthful tempura business... Tempura is debauchery, I now admit whole-heartedly!