For a change from steamed or roasted asparagus I decided to try this quick and easy asparagus tempura recipe...and am I ever glad I did. The coating is thin and crispy and the asparagus are perfectly cooked, tender but not soggy.
16 asparagus spears, the thick ones
2 Tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce
2 Tbsp (30 ml) water
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) sweet chili sauce
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) toasted sesame oil
1 tsp (5 ml) green onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup (180 ml) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) cornstarch
1 cup (240 ml) ice-cold water
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
Snap the tough ends off the asparagus spears and discard. Set the asparagus aside.
Whisk the egg and water together in a medium bowl until well combined. Whisk in the flour and cornstarch. The mixture should be the consistency of whipping cream. Pour it into a shallow bowl.
Make the dipping sauce by combining the soy sauce, water, sweet chili sauce, toasted sesame oil and green onions in a small bowl, set aside.
I use my small, deep cast iron frying pan for deep frying, but you could use a heavy bottomed saucepan or your deep fat fryer. The oil only needs to be about 1 in (2.5 cm) deep for this recipe.
Place over high heat until the oil reaches 360 F (180 C). If you don't have a thermometer, the easiest and safest method to determine if your oil is hot enough to cook in is to stick the end of a wooden spoon into the oil. If bubbles form immediately and float to the top your oil is ready. When the oil is hot reduce the heat to medium.
Dip the asparagus into the batter, coating evenly. Place in the oil and fry until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oil and place onto a paper towel lined plate.
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