Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - FOOD -

WHAT YOU’LL NEED Ap­prox. 1.5L of oil for deep-fry­ing (pos­si­bly a lit­tle more, de­pend­ing on the size of your pan) 8 broc­coli flo­rets or Ten­der­stem broc­coli stems 1 or 2 onions, cut into 7.5mm rounds 8 oys­ter mush­rooms 1 cour­gette, cut in half and then into quar­ters length­ways 8 king prawns, peeled and de­veined, scored 5-6 times on their un­der­side to pre­vent them from curling 200g skin­less, bone­less cod or other meaty white fish, cut into 4 gou­jons Salt and a wedge of lemon to sea­son For the bat­ter 1 egg 400ml sparkling wa­ter 200g plain flour 100g corn­flour Pinch of salt METHOD Get all your in­gre­di­ents ready to go be­fore cook­ing. Bear in mind that this is quick, hot cook­ing, so any­thing cut too thick will risk burn­ing be­fore it cooks through.

Pour the oil into a very big, deep pan, en­sur­ing that you keep the oil level at least 7.5cm be­low the rim of the pan, to be safe. Put the oil over a medium heat while you make the bat­ter. For the bat­ter, beat the egg, and then stir it to­gether with the sparkling wa­ter, ideally us­ing chop­sticks. Don’t stir too much or you will knock the bub­bles out of the wa­ter.

Stir both flours to­gether with the salt in a sep­a­rate bowl, then pour in the egg and sparkling wa­ter mix­ture. Mix un­til the bat­ter comes to­gether with a con­sis­tency of dou­ble (heavy) cream.

Check the tem­per­a­ture of the oil. If you have a ther­mome­ter, use it — the oil should be at 170-180°C. Or drip a few drops of the bat­ter into the oil to test it. If the bat­ter sinks, it’s too cold. If the bat­ter im­me­di­ately floats and siz­zles, it’s too hot. The bat­ter should sink just be­low the sur­face of the oil, then rise up and start to siz­zle.

Dunk the veg and fish in the bat­ter, one at a time, al­low­ing ex­cess to drip off be­fore care­fully plac­ing them in the oil. Use tongs or chop­sticks to sep­a­rate the veg as they fry so they don’t stick to­gether. You’ll have to do the veg in batches.

The ideal way to eat this is straight out of the fryer. Oth­er­wise, just keep the tem­pura in a very low oven with the door slightly ajar to let out mois­ture un­til it’s all ready to serve. The tem­pura is done when it is a light golden brown and hard to the touch. Use tongs or chop­sticks to feel if the bat­ter has firmed up be­fore re­mov­ing from the oil and drain­ing on kitchen pa­per. Serve with wedges of lemon and sea salt. MAKES 4

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