Tempura Trials


(Caroline Freisen) #1

I have loved tempura since my very first bite of it light years ago! In the past few years I’ve gotten lazy. Restaurant tempura has NO clean up! At least, not for me. However, my once favorite tempura resource (that delivers as late as 3:00am!) has lost its taste appeal as a result of expansion. From just one terrific restaurant here in Plano, they now have 4 or 5 mediocre restaurants throughout the metroplex. The last time I got tempura from them was about 6 weeks ago, and I swear they made the batter with Bisquick and it was soggy. blech!

Yesterday I was hit with a serious yen for tempura (pun intended), so I broke out the peanut oil and a saucepan and my hot oil thermometer and went to town! Loooong prepped and stretched shrimp (of course!), onions, yams, enoki mushrooms… Glorious! but I wanted more veggies… I searched the pantry and the freezer. Then a STROKE OF GENIUS struck.

ROMAIN LETTUCE…!!!

Who knew? It makes crispy and fabulous tempura! Super crispy too, because I always make my tempura batter with 100% rice flour. Wheat flour just about guarantees soggy. And I sure wish the cooks at the Japanese restaurants in my area knew that so I wouldn’t have to clean up my messy kitchen! On the other hand, has anybody ever seen tempura romain on a menu? It’s worth the mess! Next time you make tempura give it a try and let me know if you like it. hmmmm… Maybe next time I’ll try some Caesar salad dressing for dippiing. How’s that for fusion cooking? '-)


(Ailsa Konzelman) #2

I’d never thought of romaine nor have I seen it as an option for vegetable tempura.

Kale might be an option as well.

Thanks for the tip!