Tempura is one of the most popular type of Japanese food that is widely enjoyed around the world. Among all kinds of tempura, shrimp tempura is probably most common one as you see on menus in Japanese restaurants. Besides being a standalone dish, shrimp tempura is also served as part of donburi (Tempura Donburi) or soba/udon noodle soup (Tempura soba/udon).
More than a month ago, one of my favorite food bloggers, CG from Cooking Gallery, requested the shrimp tempura recipe. If you haven’t visited her blog, you must check out her cutest bento (lunch box) collections. CG’s bento is always superb and her creations always make me smile… If you want to spice up your lunch box for your kids, her blog is definitely a great source for inspiration.
So it’s been a while since I accepted the request but I finally just completed the recipe. The reason is I failed to take decent pictures every time. My kids and husband were really happy eating the Shrimp Tempura donburi, Shrimp Tempura soba, and Shrimp Tempura as appetizers and they absolutely loved it. I hope you like the recipe, CG!
- 10 Large or jumbo shrimp (if frozen need to thaw, the bigger the shrimp the better)
- Corn starch to dust
- Oil for deep frying
- 100 g (little bit more than ¾ cup) all purpose flour
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 200 ml ice water
- 3/4 cup (200 ml) dashi stock (or 3/4 cup water + 1 tsp. Hondashi)
- 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. mirin
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1 inch daikon, grated and squeeze liquid out
- shichimi (Japanese 7 flavor chili pepper)
- Prepare shrimp. Please read step-by-step pictures and explanations of How To Prepare Shrimp for Shrimp Tempura so that shrimp will be straight instead of curly.
- You can start heating the oil when you are almost done with cleaning shrimp. You want to bring the oil to 170C (338F). You can check the temperature with chopsticks or with a thermometer. When you see small bubbles around chopsticks, it’s pretty much ready for deep frying. If you want to read more about deep frying method, please read How To Deep Fry Food.
- When oil is getting close to 170C (338F), start preparing batter. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
- Beat egg yolk gently and add iced water and 2 ice cubes. It’s important to keep the batter icy cold at all time. The crispiness of Tempura comes from the temperature difference between oil and batter.
- Pour the egg mixture into flour mixture. Using chopsticks, mix but only circulate around the bowl 10 times. You want to leave some of the flour unmixed and clunky. The key here is not to produce gluten in order to have crispy tempura.
- Sift some corn starch on top of shrimps.
- When oil is 170C (338F), dip shrimp in batter several times, making sure shrimp is completely covered by the batter and start deep frying.
- Deep fry for about 2-3 minutes or so (depending on how many shrimps you deep fry at the same time and oil temperature), and after it’s cooked, place the shrimp on a wire rack (paper towel is okay but try to place it vertically) to get rid of extra oil. Keep in mind the more shrimp you have in the pot the cooler the oil temperature will be.
- If you want your Shrimp Tempura to look like ones from restaurant (extra batter around shrimp), then you have to follow this method. Please see video below (in the post) as I couldn’t capture myself doing it while deep frying… My trick for restaurant style skin is to pour extra batter on top of the shrimp after it’s been deep frying for about 5-7 seconds. You can use a spoon to do this but DO NOT drop the ice cube in the oil or else it’ll result in possible accidents.
- Heat all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium high heat. When boiling, turn the heat off and set aside.
Did you see the person dip his hand in the oil??? Crazy, isn’t it?