These mouth-popping deep-fried prawn morsels are addictive, especially when dressed with mayonnaise and a citrussy vinaigrette. In the restaurant we use yuzu juice in the dressing. Yuzu is a sweet type of citrus. As this is harder to find, I have replaced the yuzu with lemons in this recipe. This still tastes amazing though!
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 500 g prawn meat, chopped into 1.5 cm pieces
- 250 g tempura flour (see Note)
- 60 g mesclun (mixed) salad leaves mix
- 20 g finely chopped chives
- 75 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 100 ml grapeseed oil
- 40 ml dark soy sauce
- 7.5 g minced garlic (about 1 heaped tsp)
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 300 g good-quality whole-egg mayonnaise
- 50 g chilli garlic paste
- 200 g tempura flour
- 300 ml cold water
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.
To make the lemon dressing, whisk all of the ingredients together to combine. Set aside. Makes 200 ml.
To make the mayonnaise, combine the ingredients and set aside.
To make the tempura batter, mix the ingredients until just combined until it is the consistency of thickened cream – it’s okay if there are lumps of flour visible.
Heat the oil in deep-fryer or wok to 180°C. Lightly dust the prawns in the tempura flour, place in a sieve and shake off the excess flour. Coat the dusted prawn pieces in the cold tempura batter, then deep-fry until they are a light popcorn colour. Because the pieces are small they will not need much time to cook. The pieces should come out with a lovely crunchy coating. Remove and drain, shaking off any excess oil.
Divide the salad leaves among bowls and dress with only a small drizzle of the lemon dressing. Toss the prawns with 20–30 g of the spicy mayonnaise so that they are evenly coated. Place the prawns (like a little mountain!) on the top of the dressed salad bed and sprinkle with the chopped chives to garnish.
• You can find tempura flour at a Japanese or Asian grocer.
Recipe courtesy of Saké Restaurant & Bar.