I love Tempura, and the most important ingredient is the batter. Malays like to fry their bananas or yams but sometimes it becomes too soggy. A nicely cooked Tempura is crispy and light. Try this recipe and you'll be hooked.
If you are in KL, drop by at Saisaki in UOA building (in front of KLCC Convention Centre) or their branches, Shogun at Sunway Pyramid or One Utama, for Japanese buffet. They charge only Rm50 per person and serve lovely Tempura and Sushis. I don't recommend eating at Sushi King. It is overpriced, i think.
This will work for most type of tempura, from shrimp to vegetables, and even bananas!
- assorted ingredients to tempura (shrimp, onion, carrot, broccoli, etc.)
- 1 cup ice cold water
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup flour-You can get a special Malaysian make Tempura flour at Giant
- 1/8 tsp baking soda- optional
- cooking oil
- Salt to taste
- In a medium bowl, mix the water and the egg.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking soda.
- Stir the flour mix into the egg mix. It’s okay if the batter is a little lumpy.
- Stick the batter in the fridge while you prepare the other ingredients.
- If you are using shrimp, peel, de-vein, and wash it. Make some small cuts across the belly of the shrimp, to keep it from curling when you cook it.
- If you are using vegetables, clean them and cut them into your desired size. Try not to use very soft ingredients, as they will soften as they cook (softer ingredients tend to fall apart when you take it out of the oil).
- Heat the oil in a frying pan. The oil should be hot enough that when you drip batter in it, the drops come to the top immediately.
- Coat your ingredients 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. Remove any skewers. Serve immediately
Tips for Making Crispy Tempura
Use ice water for the batter. This is really important to prevent the batter from absorbing too much oil. The colder the water, the better.
Tip 2: Batter
Do not make the batter ahead of time. Try not to over mix the batter and not to coat ingredients with the batter too much.
Tip 3: Frying Order
If you are frying both seafood and vegetables, fry vegetables first. Then, fry seafood. Fry vegetables at 340F degree and fry seafood at 350F degree. Do not overfill your kuali when frying tempura as the oil temp will drop and make the tempura soggy. Rule of thumb, only one third kuali fill with tempura.
Tip 4: Oil Temperature
To check the temperature of frying oil, drop a little batter into the oil. If the batter comes up right away instead of sinking to the bottom of the pan, it's about 360 F degree. If the batter goes halfway to the bottom and comes up, it's about 340F degree. This is said to be the right temperature to fry tempura.
Try it tonight.