Thursday, 8 March 2012

Sweet and Sour Fish Tempura

This morning I went via the supermarket to stock up on supplies for my gliding trip tomorrow. On the way out I popped into the fishmonger and got some lovely little white fish fillets. (I wish I could remember what they were, but it was one of these Southern Hemisphere fish and I haven't memorised them all yet!) They were small anyway, and sweet and fresh. I was daydreaming about how to prepare them and had a strong craving for my sweet and sour sauce. So I figured we could follow the same recipe, but tempura the fish instead of stir-frying it, as it was so delicate and fragile.

Super-husband made all the sauce, set the deep-fryer up, egg-fried the rice and stir-fried the vegetables while I was out Zumba-ing, then I came home and whisked up this batter in a couple of minutes, dunked the fish, and they took just minutes in the fryer. On removal, the batter was crisp and light, and the fish tender and steaming hot, cooked to perfection. Some of the bottom ones did stick to the mesh, I need to work on that... but it did give us an excuse to eat some of the broken ones fresh out of the fryer, tossing them from hand to hand to cool them fast enough to eat. I tried out a new batter today, with a few more additions compared to my usual super-simple version. It was excellent - maybe a tad lighter and crisper!


  • one egg white
  • 1/4 cup of plain white flour
  • 1/4 cup of white rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup of ice-cold water
  • 300g fish fillets, descaled, deboned

Fill your deep fryer and set it to 180 C. If your fillets are thicker than 1cm, slice them widthwise into thinner pieces. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white by hand until somewhere between frothy and just beginning to go white and form peaks. Put the flours and sugar in a large bowl, and pour in all of the water and the egg white. Stir everything together for maximum one minute, stopping as soon as you see no more visible powdery flour. Lumps are fine.

Lower the basket in the fryer into the oil. Dip each piece of fish into the batter, lift out, let drip of excess and then drop gently into the hot oil, using tongs if necessary. Close the lid and deep-fry for 4 minutes; lift the basket and check. The tempura should just be going a tiny bit gold, and the fish will be cooked through. Pop onto a plate with some paper towel; if you are making many batches, try to serve out as quickly as possible.

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