PDA

View Full Version : How do I get cruncy tempura?



Hanzo
04-08-2011, 05:59 PM
I would like to make chicken and shrimps with the same cruncy tempura you can get at a good chinese restaurant, but sadly my attemps are nothing like that. Normaly I get a a crust that falls off way to easy, is very thin and often soggy. What I do is mix a egg, dip whatever I'm making in the egg, then into AP flour. From there it's into the deep fryer and over to some papertowl to dry up the excess oil.

I have heard that some use bakingpower in the tempura mix, and also that the paper towl are a bad idea? Anyone got a good way to get more autentic tempura?

Salty dog
04-08-2011, 06:31 PM
Buy a product called "Fry Crisp", a lot of grocery stores carry it. It's not official "tempura" but it works for gringos. Just don't make the mixture too thick.

PierreRodrigue
04-08-2011, 06:33 PM
Use corn starch. 3 to 1 with AP flour.

mhlee
04-08-2011, 06:38 PM
Instead of water, use seltzer water or club soda (but when using club soda, make sure to taste your batter so that it's not too salty because club soda has salt). Also, using ice cold water (or seltzer water or club soda). It allows some of the batter to disburse from the food before setting, creating that web of crispy batter associated with tempura.

And +1 to Salty's recommendation. The batter cannot be too thick. It should actually be somewhat thin.

JBroida
04-08-2011, 07:21 PM
thin, barely mixed combo of ice water, egg yolk, and flour... proper oil temp works too. Food goes in at 175c and comes out at 180c

Andrew H
04-08-2011, 08:05 PM
I'm a fan of Alton's recipe, which calls for rice flour, seltzer and vodka.
Edit:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/tempura-recipe/index.html

SpikeC
04-08-2011, 08:15 PM
I was wondering if someone would mention rice flour................

cnochef
04-08-2011, 09:17 PM
Thin rice flour batter and COLD water are the keys, no matter what recipe you use.

ecchef
04-09-2011, 12:05 AM
Like they says, thin batter. Jon got it right...BARELY MIXED. Even a little lumpy is fine. And the correct temp.

Citizen Snips
04-09-2011, 10:42 AM
i would use jons suggestion but add soda water or better yet, beer

Jay
04-09-2011, 03:25 PM
An old trick for a crispy crust is water chestnut powder.

Moises
04-22-2011, 02:56 AM
I like chicken tempura and specially the spicy one and usually i get ready made from market and the thing that i do is only to fry them on pan.

jcsiii
04-22-2011, 03:04 AM
Have you ever tried charging your batter in an ISI whip. We've gotten more fluff and lighter this way.

MadMel
04-23-2011, 07:47 AM
I usually get a tempura batter mix from the supermarket. Found that having it cold is best. And if you're using a pan, its better. I get my oil really hot, bout 200 celcius, drop the food in and lower the heat and maintain at about 160 celcius. before removing from the oil, blast it till 200 again. That's what I usually do.

ThEoRy
04-23-2011, 09:19 AM
2 eggs, ice cold seltzer, baking powder, 2-1 ratio flour to corn starch, s+p. Important to whisk with chopsticks as not to overwork the batter. Leave it a bit lumpy, it helps make crispy textures on the food.

For the food, just a light dredge in season flour then into the batter and fry.

MadMel
04-23-2011, 11:20 AM
Totally agree with the leave it lumpy note. Or you could take a page out of Heston's book and chill your batter in an espuma foam machine before spraying it out and using.

goodchef1
04-23-2011, 12:27 PM
if your tempura is too soggy, your oil is not hot enough.

if it is too thin, then your batter is too watery,

if it is not crunchy, then you have too much sat fat in your mix ie. egg yolk, butter etc.

put ice cubes in your batter before frying. this will deactivate the starch.:smile1:

Korem
04-25-2011, 01:41 AM
Hello everyone. I like chicken tempura. I like its taste. I think it is really easy to cook. i try it last month and it was delicious.

la2tokyo
04-26-2011, 12:52 AM
Standard recipe is one large egg yolk to 1 liter of water. It doesn't have to be that way, but that should be a ballpark starting point. You don't need starch, but if you use it, 10 parts flour to one part starch. Most pre-mixed flour has too much dry egg -if you use pre mix add flour to it. Water/egg mixture should be chilled. Whisking air into it so there are bubbles helps lighten the batter a lot - it will be easier when your bowl is a little dirty from previous batches of batter, but even with a clean bowl try to get some foam in there before you add the flour. Add flour and mix with chopsticks as little as possible in order to entirely coat the ingredients with batter - if you don't mix it up enough you will get patchy dry spots of flour when you pull it out of the batter, but you really don't need to mix that much. It should be lumpy, and dry spots of flour floating in the bowl are not a problem. If you stick your fingers in they should come out a little foamy with lumps and maybe some dry four - not like pancake batter. Oil is 160C for slower cooking vegetables and goes up to 180 for most seafood, including shrimp. Raising the temperature before you pull things out will help shed oil in the final product. Do not let the oil drop below 155 when you add your ingredients. Although many places do not dredge in flour before they drop something in batter, results are typically better if you very lightly dust ingredients with flour using a brush. Doing this can help hide some mistakes with your batter.

IMHO using carbonated water makes greasy tempura. Carbonated water gives the proper lightness to the batter, and it feels nice and light when you mix it, but the tiny gas bubbles that expand when the batter heats up trap a lot of oil that can't be shaken out. The resulting batter has a texture more like a Funyun than tempura. Some people swear by it, even some Japanese people, but I've never seen a tempura chef use carbonated water, and I believe that is the reason why. I tried quite a few times, and although I was able to make the batter feel right with much less work, the final product was never what I wanted.

Practice. A lot. I made tempura for a few months and the more I did it the more I realized how difficult it is. I now feel completely inadequate when I'm working with someone who knows what they're doing, because I realize all the flaws that experienced tempura chefs consider. Western chefs mostly think that it's just a matter of mixing ratios and temperature, but it is an art. The last time I ate tempura in Tokyo it was at Kondo, which is regarded as possibly the best tempura in Japan, and the complexity of what they are thinking was really impressive. The chef is able to make tiny changes to the batter for every different ingredient they serve. I saw the Kondo chef on TV one time and he was able to tell the TV hosts the exact temperature of the oil just by looking at it. When you stand in front of a pot of oil for eight hours a day for a few decades I guess you develop some superpowers. They broke some stereotypical rules though. They didn't chill the batter, and they didn't even shake the oil off after they pulled things out - but it was still completely dry on the paper. Of course their oil probably cost $20/liter (or more), and high quality tempura oil wicks off the final product very differently.

BTW I do not claim to be an expert.

JBroida
04-26-2011, 01:13 AM
Standard recipe is one large egg yolk to 1 liter of water. It doesn't have to be that way, but that should be a ballpark starting point. You don't need starch, but if you use it, 10 parts flour to one part starch. Most pre-mixed flour has too much dry egg -if you use pre mix add flour to it. Water/egg mixture should be chilled. Whisking air into it so there are bubbles helps lighten the batter a lot - it will be easier when your bowl is a little dirty from previous batches of batter, but even with a clean bowl try to get some foam in there before you add the flour. Add flour and mix with chopsticks as little as possible in order to entirely coat the ingredients with batter - if you don't mix it up enough you will get patchy dry spots of flour when you pull it out of the batter, but you really don't need to mix that much. It should be lumpy, and dry spots of flour floating in the bowl are not a problem. If you stick your fingers in they should come out a little foamy with lumps and maybe some dry four - not like pancake batter. Oil is 160C for slower cooking vegetables and goes up to 180 for most seafood, including shrimp. Raising the temperature before you pull things out will help shed oil in the final product. Do not let the oil drop below 155 when you add your ingredients. Although many places do not dredge in flour before they drop something in batter, results are typically better if you very lightly dust ingredients with flour using a brush. Doing this can help hide some mistakes with your batter.

IMHO using carbonated water makes greasy tempura. Carbonated water gives the proper lightness to the batter, and it feels nice and light when you mix it, but the tiny gas bubbles that expand when the batter heats up trap a lot of oil that can't be shaken out. The resulting batter has a texture more like a Funyun than tempura. Some people swear by it, even some Japanese people, but I've never seen a tempura chef use carbonated water, and I believe that is the reason why. I tried quite a few times, and although I was able to make the batter feel right with much less work, the final product was never what I wanted.

Practice. A lot. I made tempura for a few months and the more I did it the more I realized how difficult it is. I now feel completely inadequate when I'm working with someone who knows what they're doing, because I realize all the flaws that experienced tempura chefs consider. Western chefs mostly think that it's just a matter of mixing ratios and temperature, but it is an art. The last time I ate tempura in Tokyo it was at Kondo, which is regarded as possibly the best tempura in Japan, and the complexity of what they are thinking was really impressive. The chef is able to make tiny changes to the batter for every different ingredient they serve. I saw the Kondo chef on TV one time and he was able to tell the TV hosts the exact temperature of the oil just by looking at it. When you stand in front of a pot of oil for eight hours a day for a few decades I guess you develop some superpowers. They broke some stereotypical rules though. They didn't chill the batter, and they didn't even shake the oil off after they pulled things out - but it was still completely dry on the paper. Of course their oil probably cost $20/liter (or more), and high quality tempura oil wicks off the final product very differently.

BTW I do not claim to be an expert.

+1... this pretty much mirrors my experience (well, i dont think i have quite as much experience making tempura, but i did a decent bit both in the US and Japan)

NO ChoP!
04-26-2011, 10:05 AM
I like using egg whites whipped half way to a peak, that I fold in pastry flour thinned with cold club soda; the egg whites give it an ultra-light crispiness, and I experience zero greasiness. This recipe give you the cool little "fingers" too....