8 fresh prawns
1 red, green or yellow pepper
1 cougette or aubergine
8 shiitake mushrooms
4 cups of Tempura flour &
2 cups of water
(May supplement with any desired vegetables e.g. sweet potato, baby sweetcorn etc.)
Oil for deep frying
1 & 1/2 cups dashi
1/3 cup mirin
1/3 cup soy sauce
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp grated ginger
1 cup grated daikon raddish - optional
1. Prepare the vegetables by thinly slicing the courgette/aubergine into 5mm, ¼ inch pieces. Score the shitake mushrooms in a cross shape on the top to aid even cooking. Cut peppers into 1 inch wide pieces, removing any seeds.
2. Remove the prawn heads and shells, you can keep the head to make prawn stock. Using a toothpick pierce the back of the prawns and pull the black sand vein. Do not score the back of the prawns. On the inside of the prawns make 4 horizontal scores, this will help you get a perfectly straight prawn.
Directions for Dipping sauce
3. Simmer the dipping sauce ingredients in a pan gently for 10 minutes.
Directions for Tempura
4. Prepare the batter by adding the ice cold water to the tempura batter. Mix roughly, you can leave small lumps as this will give a great crispy texture.
5. Heat the oil in a large pan or deep fat fryer on a medium heat to 340°F (170°). You need at least 3 inches deep of oil. Check that the temperature is at the correct level by dropping a small amount of batter into the oil. The batter should instantly rise and start to fry if it does not then heat the oil further.
6. Lightly coat the vegetable in the batter and place in the oil. Make sure that you only fry a small number of pieces at a time as otherwise you will reduce the temperature of the pan. Always cook the same vegetables together as different vegetables have different cooking temperatures. Rotate the tempura regularly to make sure you evenly look the tempura on all sides. The tempura is ready when the batter is crisp and golden in color. When cooked, remove to a piece of kitchen towel to drain off excess oil. Serve immediately to maintain crunch.
7. Holding the prawns by the tail, dip in the batter and then gently place in the pan. Try to keep the prawns straight to prevent the prawns from curling up.
8. Serve with the dipping sauce and grated ginger and radish.