The ultimate Japanese tempura–light, crisp, and loaded with mushroom flavor. Paired with Asian peppercorn spiced salt, it’s a winner.
I love that it’s organized by culinary technique, taking the adventurous home cook miles beyond the recipes alone. You’re going to learn how to think and cook like a competent Asian cook. If you love Asian food, you need this cookbook.
I particularly wanted to try this recipe, because for way too long, I ogled the miniature, cultivated Asian beech mushrooms in Portland’s Asian markets, without taking the plunge. This is the year, and this is the dish.
Inspired by a recipe in Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees by Kian Lam Kho. Based on the concept of Japanese tempura, the effect is light, crisp and loaded with mushroom flavor. Spicy, numbing Sichuan Spiced Salt adds an extra dimension.
Technique Note It’s difficult to whip 1 egg white to soft peaks, as specified in Step 4. I whipped 2 egg whites instead (with a hand-held electric blender with whisk attachment, and then used only half of it.
6 ounces clean, unwashed enoki mushrooms, ends trimmed by about 2 inches
5 ounces clean, unwashed white beech (Shimeji) mushrooms, ends trimmed by about 1½ inches
5 ounces clean, unwashed brown beech (Shimeji) mushrooms, ends trimmed by about 1½ inches
½ cup cake flour
½ cup plus 3 tablespoons tapioca starch
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1½ cups ice water
1 large egg white
4 cups vegetable oil
½ cup toasted sesame oil
- To prepare mushrooms, in a large mixing bowl, toss prepared mushrooms gently with your hands. Reserve.
- To prepare Sichuan Spiced Salt, combine chiles and peppercorns in a small sauté pan. Toast over low heat, stirring continuously. When fragrance hits your nose, after 2-3 minutes, remove from the heat. Scoop into a spice grinder (or coffee grinder reserved for spices) and pulverize. In a small mixing bowl, combine spices with salt. Reserve.
- To prepare batter, in a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, tapioca starch, and salt. Whisk in 1½ cups ice-cold water.
- In another bowl, using a whisk or hand-held blender fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg white to soft peaks. Fold into the batter.
- To prepare to deep-fry, arrange mesh skimmer, tongs, medium bowl, mushrooms, batter, and an edged baking sheet lined with paper towels next to the stove top.
- To deep-fry, place a heavy wok over high heat. Add vegetable and sesame oils. Heat to 350ºF (a drop of batter should sizzle and rise to the surface on contact).
- Grab a handful of mushrooms and add them to the empty bowl. Ladle enough batter to coat mushrooms, and with your hands, toss to combine.
- Now here’s the danger point. Be careful, oil is extremely hot and may splatter! Without overcrowding the wok, drop two or three small handfuls of batter-coated mushrooms into the hot oil, and fry until lightly brown on the underside (about 3 minutes). Using tongs, turn, and fry until lightly brown on the other side (about 2 minutes).
- Use a skimmer to remove mushrooms to paper towel-lined baking sheet.
- Repeat with remaining batches of mushrooms.
- To serve, arrange hot mushrooms on a platter, and accompany with Sichuan Spiced Salt
More LunaCafe Asian-Inspired Recipes
- Almost Luc Lac Vietnamese Dipping Sauce
- Asian Pancakes (Beijing Pancakes)
- Asian Pantry: Korean Red Pepper Powder & Threads
- Asian Potsticker Dough (for Jiaozi & Gyoza Dumplings)
- Asian Snack Crackers & Other Extraordinary Munchies
- Asian Tacos with Prawn & Shiitake Filling & Cabbage Slaw
- Chinese Cracker Jacks
- Chinese Good Fortune Cookies
- Eat. Portland. Sen Yai Noodles
- General Tso’s Chicken: Crispy, Spicy, Sweet & Tart
- Golden Fried Garlic Sesame Noodles
- Home-Style Chinese Fried Rice
- Phat Thai (Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Tamarind Sauce, Peanuts & Lime)
- Pok Pok’s World Famous Vietnamese Chicken Wings
- Pork & Prawn Potstickers (aka Asian Dumplings)
- Portland Food Carts: Mama Chow’s Kitchen
- Sichuan Tempera-Fried Wild Mushrooms
- Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad
- Spicy Korean Noodle Soup (Jjambbong)
- Spicy Pork Wonton Soup
- Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce
- Spicy Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham)
- Thai Red Curry Paste
- Thai Red Curry Soup
- Vietnamese Chicken Salad
- Vietnamese Crispy Crepes (Banh Xeo)
Copyright 2015 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.