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Old 10-20-2008, 04:10 AM   #1
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Best way to make tempura?

Hello everyone. I am new here. I was looking up information on crab legs the other day (I wanted to know the taste difference between snow, king, and dungeness crabs) and came across this site. I am a busy college student with a bartending job and don't have a lot of time to cook, but lately I have been spending too much money on eating out.

Anyways before I tell my life story, I just wanted to know a good tempura recipe. I have made it a few times already, but they always come out different for some reason. I bought a different flour and it made it kind of doughy and chewy instead of crispy. And also, am I supposed to use the entire egg or just the yolk/white? How thick should the batter be?

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Old 10-21-2008, 07:07 PM   #2
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Basically (tempura batter)

1/2 cup All Purpose or Rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
2/3 cup ice cold soda water (club soda)

Sift the dry ingredients together in one bowl.

In a larger bowl - beat the egg and then add the club soda and stir to combine.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just enough to combine.

Dip your food in the batter and deep fry.

I think the rice flour makes it lighter and crisper - but AP will work just fine.
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:14 PM   #3
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What does the baking soda do for it?
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:33 AM   #4
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Whats the difference between the all purpose flour, enriched/self rising, bleached, baking, etc. flour? It's confusing to me. Which is best for frying?
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:12 PM   #5
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There are many versions of Tempura batter so I guess each to his own, as Michael says, the cold water is most important. If you use straight Rice flour you will be making a gluten free batter that is hard to use as it 'sets' almost immediately so I would stick to the AP flour personally then add the Corn starch, baking soda and the baking powder [which I don't think is necessary] the baking powder that is.

Here's part of an article that I have about it that might help but I can't find a link to the complete article I'm afraid. I could email it to you if you so wish.

"Tempura (てんぷら or 天麩羅, tenpura?) refers to classic Japanese deep fried batter-dipped seafood and vegetables. The batter is made of ice cold water and flour. Small dry bite-sized pieces of food are dipped in flour, then in batter, and then deep fried for 2-3 minutes. In high-class restaurants, sesame oil or a mixture of sesame and other cooking oils are used.
Western chefs frequently include tempura dishes on their menus but seldom with 'authentic' results. This largely stems from a misunderstanding about mixing the batter which, in classic cookery must be beaten until homogeneous. Good tempura batter is mixed with chopsticks, but only for a few seconds. This leaves numerous lumps in the mixture and results in the unique tempura structure when cooked. Also crucial is that tempura batter be made freshly, with ice-cold water, in small batches."
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I found this in a modified version of the article that I have which I do not totally agree with.

"The batter is often kept cold by adding ice, or by placing the bowl inside a larger bowl with ice in it."

If you were to add ice to an existing batter you would be inviting disaster,
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" Over-mixing the batter will result in production of wheat gluten, which causes the flour mixture to become chewy and dough-like when fried."

I disagree with that statement but would like a chefs opinion on this as I don't believe over mixing will create gluten in any batter. It tends to make it chewy only by removing the air pockets but isn't the gluten already in the product.
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Old 10-23-2008, 03:14 AM   #6
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What I didn't mention in the above post was that the end result of a batter made with just rice flour and water produces an excellent result and is well worth a try. Something that I haven't tried but thought about in regards to this batter is to fold in beaten egg whites to help keep the batter aerated.
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Old 10-23-2008, 03:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kii View Post
Whats the difference between the all purpose flour, enriched/self rising, bleached, baking, etc. flour? It's confusing to me. Which is best for frying?
Each to his own when it comes to making batter for whatever use Kii but the best way to start off with is to use a good quality self raising flour. The most simple batter is SR flour and cold beer --- nothing else. Then you can start adding the other things and experimenting more.
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