The only problem with these deep-fried crumbed morsels is that they'll disappear as fast as you can make them. With "kushi" meaning skewer in Japanese and "age" meaning deep-fried, you can pretty much crumb and skewer whatever meat, fish or vegetable takes your fancy. Served as an appetiser, they're a great way to warm up a crowd.
- 4 extra large green prawns, peeled with tails intact, cleaned
- 4 large scallops, roe off
- 1½ tbsp cooking sake
- 1½ tbsp Japanese soy sauce, plus extra, to serve
- 4 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
- 4 asparagus spears, trimmed
- 35 g (¼ cup) plain flour
- 2 eggs
- 150 g (2 cups) panko breadcrumbs
- equal quantities of corn oil and vegetable oil, to deep-fry
- Japanese mayonnaise and finely chopped spring onions, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You will need 16 x 15 cm wooden skewers for this recipe.
Place prawns, scallops, 1 tbsp sake and 1 tbsp soy in a bowl and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Drain. Thread prawns and scallops onto 8 individual skewers, ensuring skewers are threaded straight through prawns.
Combine remaining 2 tsp sake and 2 tsp soy. Brush over mushrooms and asparagus, then thread onto 8 individual skewers.
Place flour, eggs and panko crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Keeping the handle of skewers clean, dust prawns, scallops, mushrooms and asparagus with flour. Shake off excess flour, dip in egg and coat in breadcrumbs, pressing to coat. Set aside.
Fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan one-third full with oils and heat over medium heat to 180°C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds). Working in 4 batches, gently drop skewers into the oil and fry, turning halfway, for 3 minutes or until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Top mushroom skewers with Japanese mayonnaise and spring onions. Serve all skewers with mayonnaise and extra soy sauce.
As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 12, pg102.
Photography by John Laurie