Tempura is a popular Japanese fried delicacy that is now enjoyed by people all over the world. It’s so easy to prepare that your benchtop won’t be messy as imagined. That golden crispy treat is actually healthy, too, because it uses fresh seasonal ingredients and substitutes regular cooking oil with sesame oil. The most popular of all tempura is the tempura shrimp. Second to shrimp or prawn tempura are veggie tempura and other seafood or fish ingredients like squid or fish.
You can make your own shrimp tempura or popcorn shrimp, right in your own kitchen. Pair it with a spicy mayonnaise and zesty vinaigrette. We have the right mouth-popping recipe from SBS just for you!
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
500g prawn meat, chopped into 1.5 cm pieces
250g tempura flour (see Note)
60g mesclun (mixed) salad leaves mix
20g finely chopped chives
75ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
100ml grapeseed oil
40ml dark soy sauce
7.5g minced garlic (about 1 heaped tsp)
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
300g good-quality whole-egg mayonnaise
50g chilli garlic paste
200g tempura flour
300ml cold water
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make the lemon dressing, whisk all of the ingredients together to combine. Set aside. Makes 200 ml.
To make the mayonnaise, combine the ingredients and set aside.
To make the tempura batter, mix the ingredients until just combined until it is the consistency of thickened cream – it’s okay if there are lumps of flour visible.
Heat the oil in deep-fryer or wok to 180°C. Lightly dust the prawns in the tempura flour, place in a sieve and shake off the excess flour. Coat the dusted prawn pieces in the cold tempura batter, then deep-fry until they are a light popcorn colour. Because the pieces are small they will not need much time to cook. The pieces should come out with a lovely crunchy coating. Remove and drain, shaking off any excess oil. If you’re using the Kleenmaid 90cm GCTEK9020 electronic gas cooktop, you’ll find that the cooktop also features auto reignition. This means if the flame is extinguished the cooktop will reignite itself after determining that it is safe to do so. Such a neat feature!
Divide the salad leaves among bowls and dress with only a small drizzle of the lemon dressing. Toss the prawns with 20–30 g of the spicy mayonnaise so that they are evenly coated. Place the prawns (like a little mountain!) on the top of the dressed salad bed and sprinkle with the chopped chives to garnish.