JANUARY 7TH IS NATIONAL TEMPURA DAY... in other words, national fry something at home day.
Any time I hear the word tempura, I immediately think of my Food Network Star teammate, Justin Warner. Justin knows how to fry things really, really well and his tempura recipe was not only one of the best I've ever tried, it was a huge hit with all of the guests at our pop-up Italian restaurant on the show. Since then, I've used it for a number of things but really like it for frying shrimp for a Po-Boy.
Here's us... working the fry station. Justin's tempura recipe follows.
JUSTIN'S FAMOUS TEMPURA BATTER
2 cups rice flour
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Salt and ground black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
Vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
Make a dredge of 1 cup rice flour, oregano, parsley and some salt and pepper.
Make a batter by combining the remaining 1 cup rice flour with the all-purpose flour, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Pour in the club soda a little bit at a time and whisk until the batter is just slightly loosened and the whisk won't stand up. Keep on an ice bath as you are using it.
Fill a Dutch oven just under halfway with oil and heat over medium-high heat to 350 degrees F.
To fry: Dredge strips of fresh veggies, like bell pepper, zucchini, onion, whole string beans in the seasoned flour and then dip in the batter and drop into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels, season with salt and a spray of lemon juice.
If you make this recipe, please give my buddy Justin a shout out on Twitter: @EatFellowHumans. His highly acclaimed restaurant, Do or Dine, is located in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, New York where tempura fried things like the Cauli-Balls are always on the menu. Check out the Nippon Nachos with gouda and cheddar -- the one chef's dish Alton Brown says he wishes he'd come up with during an interview with Conde Nast Traveler.
Happy National TEMPURA DAY! Go fry something delicious!