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Cook's notesThis recipe does involve deep frying, so a deep pan and a food thermometer are incredibly helpful tools to have. As is a wide slotted spoon to remove the asparagus.
For the tempura:
- 200g asparagus
- sunflower or vegetable oil
- 50g plain flour
- 50g rice flour (or another 50g of plain flour)
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 160ml cold sparkling water
For the dipping sauce:
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tsp light brown sugar
- 2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled & finely grated
Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 10 min
Step 1Trim off any tough ends from the asparagus, the bottom inch or so, and cut each spear into 5cm pieces. You want stalks no thicker than a pencil so if they are fat, split them evenly lengthways, too.
Step 2Heat the oil in a high sided pan. You should only need about an inch and a half of oil to fry in. Slowly bring the oil up to 190⁰C.
Step 3Meanwhile, mix the dipping sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
Step 4To make the batter, sift the dry ingredients into a bowl, mix well and add a generous pinch of salt. When the oil is at temperature, add the cold sparkling water to the dry ingredients and mix it together fast and loosely; a quick stir rather than a whisk is good as you want a few lumps and imperfections.
Step 5Dip the asparagus into the batter one at a time and gently drop into the oil. Don’t put more than 8 in at a time, to prevent the oil temperature from dropping too much. Fry for 2 mins or so or until golden, crisp and buoyant.
Step 6Remove carefully with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper to soak up excess oil. Bring the oil back up to temperature and repeat until all of your aspasagus is cooked. Scoff hot with the dipping sauce on the side.