【Ingredients】 (5 Servings)
Shrimp with shells but no heads
(Black tiger prawns, etc.) …… ５ (About 50g or 1.77oz ea.)
Renkon (lotus root) ……1/2 section (130ｇ) (4.6oz)
Satsuma imo (sweet potato)……1/2 (130g) (4.6oz)
Nori……1/2 sheet (Cut into 10 equal pieces and set aside)
＜Kakiage＞ (10 servings)
Onion……1/2 (100g) (3.5oz)
Carrot……1/3 (80ｇ) (2.8oz)
Weak flour……１ cup (110g) (3.9oz)
Carbonated water (unsweetened) ……150ml (5oz)
Egg……１ (50g) (1.7oz)
Salad or other oil …… As needed
【How to Make】
① Remove shrimp shells, except for the tail section. Cut the tips off of the tails. Use a knife to stroke each shrimp from the root of its tail to the head end to remove any excess water. Use a bamboo skewer to devein each shrimp. On the belly side of each shrimp cut halfway through the body in 4 to 5 places. This will prevent the shrimp from curling when it is fried.
② Cut the lotus root (renkon) into disks about 5mm (.2in) thick. Cut the sweet potato (satsuma imo) at an angle, into elliptical disks about 7mm (.27in) thick. Afterward place both the lotus root and sweet potato in water to remove bitterness.
③ For the kakiage tempura, cut the carrot into matchstick-size pieces. Slice the onion thinly and cut the shungiku (garland chrysanthemum) into lengths of 4 to 5cm (about 2in). Cut the chikuwa (fish sausage) into diagonals 5mm (.2in) thick.
④ Use a paper towel to wipe the excess water from the shrimp, lotus root, and sweet potato, then put all three into a plastic bag and add 1tbsp of weak flour. Coat everything evenly with the flour. This will help the batter to stick to everything.
⑤ Make the tempura batter. Sift weak flour into a bowl. Crack an egg into a separate bowl and beat. Mix in the carbonated water and then add the mixture to the weak flour. Mix lightly with chopsticks, so that a little bit of the flour is still visible. Too much mixing will make it impossible to get nicely crispy tempura.
⑥ Pour a generous amount of oil into a pot and heat to 175℃ (347℉). Test the temperature by dripping a little bit of batter into the oil. If it sinks and then fries immediately, the temperature is right.
⑦ Pick each shrimp by the tail, dip only the body into the batter and then gently lower it into the oil, without letting it splash. Small bubbles will emerge from the batter. When these change to large bubbles and the sound of frying dies down, remove the shrimp from the oil and place it on a paper towel to let the excess oil drain off.
⑧ Dip each piece of sweet potato and lotus root into the batter, then transfer it to the oil. After each piece browns, remove it from the oil, and place it on a paper towel. For the nori, apply batter to only one side and fry until the nori becomes stiff, then remove to a paper towel.
⑨ Put the kakiage ingredients into a bowl, add the remaining batter, and mix coarsely. Use a wooden spatula to gather up one serving of the mixture. Slide the spatula into the oil to let the kakiage mixture separate from the spatula. Instead of the spatula approach, you can cut cooking (baking) paper into 7cm (little less than 3in.) squares, place the kakiage mixture on these squares and then slide them (the paper, too) into the oil.
⑩ Once everything has been cooked, place all of the tempura on a tempura tray (a tray with a wire rack) to drain off excess oil. Afterward, arrange the tempura on a plate with a sheet of kaishi (special paper that will absorb oil).
Soup for Kake Udon
Make kaeshi and ichiban ahead of time and combine them to make soup for your udon noodles.
【Ingredients】 (Enough for 8 servings of udon)
Soy sauce……200ml (6.8oz)
Konbu (５cm×３cm (2in x 1.2in))……１ piece
【Hot to Make】
① Add the sake and mirin to a pot and boil to remove the alcohol.
② Add the konbu (kind of kelp), katsuobushi (smoked, dried bonito), and soy sauce, bring to a boil, wait a second or two, then turn off the heat. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes, then filter out the solids with a paper towel. A sieve can also be used, but will leave some solids in the soup stock.
※ If you have extra kaeshi, you can put it into a bottle and refrigerate it. Kaeshi can be used in making a dipping sauce for tempura or in flavoring boiled dishes.
Ichiban Dashi (Katsuo Dashi)
【Ingredients】 (Kake tsuyu for 5)
Konbu (５cm×１０cm (2in x 4in)）……１ piece
【How to Make】
① Pour the water into a pot, add the konbu, and set aside for 1 hour.
② Begin heating the pot to boil the contents. Remove the konbu just before the water begins to boil. Once the water is boiling add the katsuobushi, wait a second or two then turn off the heat.
③ Once the katsuobushi sinks to the bottom of the pot, use a paper towel to filter out the katsuobushi. Here again, a sieve could be used, but will leave some solids in the stock.
Soup for Kake Udon
Add 300ml (1.25 cups) of ichiban dashi to a bowl. Next, add 1 to 1.5 tbsp of kaeshi for flavor. Add the udon to the soup.
※ Use chopped green onion and sesame as toppings.
Recipe Developed by: Machiko Tateno
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