Saturday, June 7, 2014

Tempura Batter for Meat or Veg

I try to keep from deep frying anything. Yeah, I live in the South. I'm sure this fried food avoidance puts me on some kind of old school cookery hit list. :) Maybe I'll fry something once a week, usually it's more like once a month.

A single recipe of this is supposed to coat 4 cups of Veg or 1 pound of meat. I'll probably have to double it for what I'm testing tonight. I used an amber lager rather than water for my test batch and was singularly unimpressed.

This batter comes out like Chinese Takeaway Sweet & Sour Chicken/Pork. Kind of bready, kind of crunchy and ready to sop up whatever delicious sauce you've got ready on the side.

Tempura Batter

3/4c Cornstarch
1/4 c Flour (I'll prolly use Whole Wheat)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Adobo (Spanish Garlic Salt with herbs)
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 slightly beaten egg
1 c Very Cold Water

Mix the dry ingredients together. Take 1/4c out and put in a separate dredge bowl.
Add the wet to the larger amount of dry and beat it well. The batter should be a little thick like waffle batter. A bit thicker than pancake batter but nowhere near as thick as brownie mix. If you need to add a bit more water, don't be scared - just mix it on in there.

Get your oil ready to fry. I prefer to use peanut oil, but I'm broooOooke right now so we're using canola. I'll edit this later with a temperature, but for now - the oil should spit if you throw a couple of drops of water into it. 

Dredge your whatever into the dry mix, shake it off and dip it into the liquid batter. To avoid club hand - use one hand for dredging and the other for dipping. The liquid batter will run off your item. That's ok, just try to keep it in the bowl, Beavis.  You will have some batter that drips into your oil. Yay, crunchies!

Fry your goody until it's a nice golden brown, flip it when you think it's ready. When it's finished, place it on paper towels or a handy brown bag to drain off the excess oil.

Keep the meat chunks to the small side, you want them to cook all the way through without burning the crap out of your batter. Chicken chunks are 1/2" cubes or fingers, Zucchini is 1/4" or 1/2" strips, Fish is 1/4th of a filet. Use your common sense. If you don't have any on hand, maybe you shouldn't be frying stuff anyway...

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