Perfect for serving at gatherings of family and friends during spring and summer.
- 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed
- Oil for deep-frying
- 50g cornflour or tempura batter
- Salt to taste
- 100ml chilled soda water
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 teaspoon mirin (see Tip)
- Cut each asparagus spear in half diagonally.
- Heat enough oil to deep-fry tempura in a deep fryer or wok to 180°C. To test if the oil is hot enough, dip the end of a wooden spoon in oil. If the oil bubbles up around the spoon handle, it is hot enough. Alternatively, drop a bread cube into the oil - the oil is hot enough if the bread cube turns a golden brown in 1 minute.
- To make the tempura batter, mix cornflour, salt and soda water in a bowl with a chopstick until only just combined, to make a thin, slightly lumpy mixture.
- Dip asparagus into batter and drop straight into the hot oil, a few at a time. Cook for a minute or two until crisp and golden. Remove from oil and drain on kitchen paper.
- To make the dipping sauce, combine tamari and mirin.
- Arrange tempura on a serving platter and serve with a small bowl of the dipping sauce.
- Mirin is a type of rice wine used as a seasoning and condiment in Japanese cooking.
- You can add spices and sesame seeds to the batter, and finely chopped red chilli to the sauce if desired.
Recipe provided by Lyndey Milan award-winning multi-media presenter, MC, speaker, food and wine teacher, consultant, debator, judge and regional Australian specialist.