Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura
|Large shrimp||1 Pound|
|Freshly ground white pepper||To Taste|
|Snow peas||1⁄4 Pound (20 Snow Peas)|
|Italian eggplant||6 Ounce (1 Eggplant)|
|Zucchini||6 Ounce (1 Medium Sized One)|
|Mushrooms||1⁄2 Pound (8 Medium Sized Ones)|
|All-purpose flour||3 Cup (48 tbs) (Approximately)|
|Vegetable oil||8 Cup (128 tbs) (For deep frying)|
|Katsuo||1⁄2 Ounce (1 Packet /1 Tablespoon)|
|Japanese rice vinegar||1 Tablespoon|
|Japanese soy sauce||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
1) Pinch off the shrimps’ legs, several at a time. Once done, bend the shrimps back and snap off the sharp pieces of shell which are just above the tail. Remove the shell and throw it away. With a sharp paring knife, make a shallow incision alongside each shrimp’s back. This will expose the digestive vein which needs to be extracted and discarded. Put the shrimp in a colander and ash under cold running water, drain and dry with paper towels. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over the shrimp and put the shrimp in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator.
2) In the colander, put the snow peas and wash under cold running water. Drain and use paper towels to dry. Trim the ends and take out the strings. On a platter, place the snow peas.
3) Trim the eggplant and peel it. Cut it in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into ½-inch thick slices. Put on the platter with the snow peas.
4) With a vegetable crush, scrub the zucchini under cold running water. Use paper towels to dry. Cut the zucchini into half lengthwise and then cut crosswire into ½-inch thick slices. Place on the platter.
5) Wipe the mushrooms clean with the help of a paper towels. Trim the stems and discard. Place the mushrooms on the platter as well and with plastic wrap, cover the platter. Place in refrigerator.
6) Preheat oven to temperature of 200 degrees.
7) With double thickness paper towels, line a large heatproof platter. Keep aside.
8) Separate the eggs and place the yolks in a medium-sized bowl. Keep the whites for future use.
9) To the egg yolks, add 2 cups of ice water and use a fork to beat till they have blended well. Add the cornstarch and stir till it has dissolved. Stir in 2 teaspoons of salt and ad 1 ½ to 2 cups of flour, a handful at a time, gently stirring with a whisk to avoid beating in too much air, till the flour is completely incorporated and the mixture looks like pancake batter. The batter must have some small lumps.
10) In a wok or a large heavy-gauge saucepan which is placed over medium-high heat, heat the oil till it registers a temperature of 375 degrees on a deep-fat thermometer.
11) For the dipping sauce, combine together the sugar, katsuo dashi, rice vinegar, soy sauce and 1 cup of hot tap water in a small bowl. Use a fork to stir to completely dissolve the sugar and katsup dashi.
12) In a brown paper bag, put 1 cup of flour. If required, sprinkle vegetables with some water before dredging them to help the flour adhere. In the bag, put the snow peas and close it. Shake to coat the snow peas with flour. With the help of a Chinese mesh strainer or a slotted spoon, remove the snow peas from the batter. Allow the excess batter to drip off.
13) Carefully fry the flour coated snow peas in hot oil, occasionally skimming off any particles of batter that might float to the oil’s surface. Fry for about 2 minutes or till the peas have turned crisp and golden.
14) With a mesh strainer, transfer the snow peas to the platter lined with paper towels. Keep warm in oven till ready to serve. For the remaining vegetables as well as the shrimp, repeat the entire process, adding only as many as fir in the pan without crowding the ingredients.
15) To recombine, stir the dipping sauce and divide it among 4 small serving bowls. Divide the shrimp and vegetables among 4 dinner plates.
16) Serve hot with the sauce on the side.