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Curtis Stone loves tempura and has some tricks up his sleeve to ensure the best outcome! Feel free to substitute your favorite vegetables (see his tips below).
"Got an impromptu dinner date? Or short on time to plan and prepare for date night, but still want something fun and elegant? Tempura is your perfect go-to! A classic Japanese tempura consists of shrimp and assorted vegetables with a light, crispy coating. It's so simple, anyone can do this and it comes together easily—no elaborate pre-planning required!" —Curtis
Pro Tips from Curtis:
—Think about selecting vegetables that show off different shapes and textures. This will create a more beautiful arrangement and a more interesting eating experience.
—The colder the water for the batter and the less the batter is mixed, the crispier the coating will be when fried.
—Using chopsticks allows you to gently mix the batter and avoid overmixing it, which ensures a tender, lighter, crispier coating.
—To check that the oil is hot enough, drop some batter into it. If the oil is hot enough, it will immediately cause the batter to bubble.
—Avoid adding too many items at one time to the hot oil. Working in small batches helps keep the oil at the right temperature, which is key for the crispiest results.
—Tempura is best served as soon as it is made. The dipping sauce can be prepared up to one day ahead. Cover and store it in the refrigerator.
For more simple and delicious recipes from Curtis, check out his Hot Maple Sticky Wings and Grilled Ginger Sesame Chicken Salad.
For the dipping sauce, in a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients. Set aside.
For the tempura, in a large heavy pot or wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat to 350°F.
In large bowl, using chopsticks, stir together the flour and 3 cups ice-cold water just until a thin batter forms and some small lumps remain.
Place some flour in a dish. Working in batches, dredge the vegetables in the flour to coat lightly and then dip them into batter to coat lightly. Place the battered vegetables in the hot oil and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the coating is crisp.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a baking tray lined with paper towels to drain excess oil. Repeat with the shrimp.
Place the tempura on a platter, garnish with the cilantro and serve with lemon wedges and dipping sauce.