Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Canadian Harvest on Vancouver Island

There's something about the crispness in the air that makes me think of root veggies. And although root veggies go perfectly with a roast chicken, my favourite way to serve them is Asian tempura style.

Maybe it's because tempura done right is just as crisp as the autumn air or maybe it's because of the amazing China Town in my home of Victoria, BC, but I think that root veggies and tempura are a perfect pairing. So when I found out that our November Canadian Food Experience Project challenge was to write about a Canadian harvest experience, I knew I had to share my delicious tempura recipe.

My only secrets to perfect tempura are to use only drier veggies like squash, beans, and broccoli and to make sure that your batter is really cold. Now that you know those two tricks, you'll be making tempura like pro. So read on for my recipe and get started!

Shrimp and Veggie Tempura - serves 4-6

1 cup of ice water, as cold as possible
1 egg, take straight from the fridge
3/4 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon each of baking powder and salt
Shrimp, squash, green beans, broccoli, or other dry veggies, sliced into small pieces and patted dry
Vegetable oil, for deep frying

1. Combine egg and water in a large bowl.

2. Whisk in the flour, baking soda, and salt. If there are small lumps, it's ok to leave them. Just whisk until the batter come together.

3. Place the batter in the fridge while you prepare the oil. Pour oil into a pan about 2 tablespoons deep and bring it up to 350 degrees. It's best to use a deep fry thermometer so the temperature can be maintained throughout cooking.

4. Season the shrimp and veggies and dip into the batter. Place a few pieces into the hot oil and cook each side of the shrimp and veggies to a golden brown, just a minutes per side.

5. Season the hot tempera with salt and enjoy right away.

The Canadian Food Experience Project began on June 7 2013. As we (participants) share our collective stories through our regional food experiences,  we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity.

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