Thursday, March 8, 2007

deep-fried liaison

that's assorted vegetable tempura, a dipping sauce with sliced shiitake mushrooms, sushi rice topped with toasted chestnuts, and spicy raw marinated carrots, all served over a bed of lacinato kale.

for the carrot slices: thinly slice a carrot. place slivers in a jar. submerge in 1/2 part brown rice vinegar, 1/2 part water. add one teaspoon each of dill weed, sage, cayenne, and salt. a pinch of black pepper. add a dash of olive oil and lemon juice, seal the jar, shake, and refrigerate. (you can let them marinate overnight or simply serve them as soon as the rest of the food is prepared.)

for the tempura batter:

1 c. unbleached white flour
3 tsp. mustard powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
and about 3/4 c. ice water

note: prepare this batter only immediately before frying the vegetables. the temperature of the batter is crucial to both how it holds to the vegetables, and also to how it cooks once submerged in the hot oil. hte consistency should be smooth and just thick enough to stick to the vegetables. (i used canola oil over a high flame. about 2-3 minutes per piece should render them crispy and golden-brown at first, only 1 minute when the oil really gets going. any deep saucepan will work -- just remember to have a pair of tongs at hand!) this amount of batter should be enough to coat about 20 pieces total.

for the dipping sauce:

2/3 c. water
1 4"x4" sheet of dried kombu
4 large fresh shiitake mushrooms
2 tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup diced yellow onions
1/4 cup grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup shoyu (or tamari)

rinse kombu and shiitake. place in saucepan with water. let sit for 10 minutes. then bring water to a boil. lower temperature to just below boiling and simmer for 15 minutes. remove shiitake and kombu from saucepan and discard. add onions and ginger to water, bring to boil, then simmer for another 10 minutes. strain out ginger and onions, and discard. add shoyu and strained lemon juice to broth. sliver the caps of the remaining shiitake, and add to the broth. simmer for another ten minutes, and serve warm.


carmichael said...

any tempura called a liaison must be good. double entendres always taste batter, i mean better.

(btw, the tempura at red bamboo is crappy. and i like red bamboo. just pass on the tempura.)

BUT, this is what heston blumenthal is doing:
(pilfered from the new york times article)

"The Fat Duck’s batter is made with all-purpose flour, as well as some rice flour, whose proteins don’t form an elastic gluten, and baking powder. The liquid is half beer and half vodka. The ingredients are mixed, then charged with carbon dioxide in a soda siphon and refrigerated.

The siphon keeps the batter fully carbonated, to be dispensed fresh and bubbly as needed, and produces a very porous coating that’s especially crunchy — with each bite you crush many thin layers of crust. But I usually dispense with the siphon and settle for the bubbles produced by the beer and the baking powder during the frying."

Matthew said...

i want a carbonator