It’s the day after Thanksgiving. If you’re looking for a lighter dish, try delicate squash blossoms and scallions tempura. When paired with tempura sauce, it’s a perfect light appetizer. To spice it up, we’ve added a little wasabi paste to the tempura batter. To turn it into a light entree, add fried shrimp.
Preparation Time: 25 min
Cooking Time: 2-3 min
- 6 (or more) squash blossoms
- 3 (or more) spring onions, cut into 6-inch lengths
- Wasabi tempura batter:
- 1/2 cup organic pastry flour (pastry flour is lighter and has 25% less gluten than all-purpose flour, therefore will give you a lighter dough. Cake flour will give you an even lighter dough so that’s also a great choice.)
- 1/4 cup organic corn starch
- 3/4 cup ice cold water (depending on the brand of flour you use you may need a little more so have extra ice cold water available)
- 1 tsp wasabi paste or paste (paste used for this photo)
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Vegetable oil (enough to fill a frying pan one and a half inches deep)
- Sunflower oil or other mild flavored oil for frying.
- Tempura sauce:
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp mirin rice wine
- 1 tsp dark sesame seed oil
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp finely sliced scallion greens
- Make the tempura sauce:
- Place all the ingredients into a small mixing bowl, mix well with a fork or small whisk, pour into a serving bowl; set aside.
- Gently wash the squash blossoms to remove any dirt, pat dry; set aside.
- Remove any of the outer layers that are dry or yellowing, wash and pat dry, cut into 6 inch long sections; set aside.
- Place oil in a deep frying pan ensuring you have at least one and one-half inches of oil in the pan, heat to 375F.
- While the oil is heating up in the frying pan make the batter:
- Put the flour, corn starch, water, wasabi paste, and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl, mix thoroughly using a fork; set aside.
- When the oil has reached 375F dip each squash blossom into the wasabi tempura batter ensuring that all the sides are covered in the batter, shake off any excess and carefully place the battered blossom into the frying pan, repeat until all the squash blossoms are in the hot oil.
Note: Do not overcrowd the frying pan because as you add blossoms (or any item you are trying to fry) into the hot oil the temperature of the oil will start to decline, increasing the time it will take to get back to the proper frying temp of 375F. It will, therefore, take longer to fry and you will end up with soggy, overcooked product.
- Fry for 2-3 minutes, turning the blossom over halfway through.
- When reaching a light golden brown color remove the fried squash blossoms and place them on a plate or tray covered with paper towels to drain any excess oil.
- Repeat the previous steps with the scallions.
- Serve immediately with tempura sauce.
Additional Serving Suggestions:
If you would like a heavier appetizer try adding deep-fried whole unpeeled shrimp. Unusual for these parts but it’s quite common in the Far East to fry unpeeled shrimp whole. It’s like having shrimp crackers with your shrimp in one bite!
Recipes and photos by Ray Toves.