Fail-proof Tempura (Japanese Fritters)

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This tempura recipe by J. Kenji López-Alt is a tried and tested favourite in our home. The light batter yields an airy and crispy tempura exterior that goes well with vegetables, seafood or meat.

Inspired by: J. Kenji López-Alt

Cornstarch – 1/2 cup
All Purpose Flour – 1/2 cup
Salt – 1 teaspoon
Egg – 1
Sparkling Water – 3/4 cup
Vegetables or Shrimp – As necessary
Oil for Frying – As necessary

1. Combine cornstarch, flour and salt in a large bowl and mix well with a whisk or chopsticks. Combine egg and sparkling water in a separate bowl and whisk until well combined.
2. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and mix with chopsticks until just combined and no lumps remain. there should still be many bubbles and some pockets of flour.
3. Heat up enough oil in a pot (at least 1.5-2 inches deep) until 350°F (177°C) or when it starts bubbling with an inserted chopstick.
4. Add ingredients to the batter and coat evenly. Allow excess batter to drip off and drop gently into the hot oil. Constantly move the pieces around with chopsticks, exposing them to fresh oil. Fry until the batter is completely crisp and a pale blond (around 2 minutes)
5. Transfer fried tempura onto a metal rack and sprinkle with salt to season. Serve with lemon wedges and/or tempura sauce (dilute mentsuyu with water).

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