Tempura batter is a delicious coating for seasonal vegetables and works beautifully with red peppers, courgettes and their flowers. Tempura was originally named after a Portuguese dish from the 17th century and in this recipe we are making the most of the end of the asparagus season by serving the asparagus simply with a vegan smoked mayonnaise.
Tempura Asparagus with Smokey Vegan Mayonnaise
Serves: 4 | Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 5 minutes
- 2 bunches asparagus
- 1 tbsp cornflour for dusting
- 80g plain flour
- 20g corn flour
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 150ml chilled sparkling water
- 1L vegetable oil for deep frying
- Trim the bottom white parts off the asparagus.
- Steam the asparagus for 1 minute, then plunge into cold water. Drain and dry off the asparagus with kitchen towel, dust the bottom ¾ of the asparagus with cornflour.
- Heat the oil in a deep saucepan or wok to 165C.
- To make the tempura batter, pour the chilled water into a large bowl. Sift in the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Mix roughly with a whisk.
- Dip the bottom ¾ of the asparagus into the batter, then into the oil, keeping hold of the tip of the asparagus with a pair of tongs. Fry for 30 seconds until the batter is golden. Drain on kitchen paper.
- Serve hot at once with the smoked mayonnaise.
Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-free | Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 5 minutes | Cooling time: 1 hour
- 225ml water
- 50g gram flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove
- 150ml sunflower oil
- Measure the water, gram flour, salt and smoked paprika into a small saucepan over a medium heat, and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and whisk for a few more minutes until the mix has thickened to a paste.
- Scrape the paste into a small dish and chill in the fridge till cold.
- To make the mayonnaise, place the cold paste into a blender or hand held blender jug, and add the lemon juice, mustard and garlic.
- Blend the mixture until smooth, then gradually add in the oil 1 tablespoon at a time until thick and creamy. Taste and season with more salt or lemon juice if needed.
- If the mix is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of boiling water and blend until smooth.
Choose a pale speckled coloured large plate, add a generous blob of mayonnaise to one side and sprinkle with smoked paprika and place three stems of tempura asparagus, criss-crossing each other.
Also featured in the July 2018 issue of Vegetarian Living Magazine.
Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.
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