On Saturday evening I decided I fancied a Thai extravaganza so I planned a four-course Thai meal for Alberto and I. I cheated slightly and bought some spicy Thai crackers from Sainsbury’s as the first ‘course’. The second course was a bit more substantial and consisted of some delicious Thai fishcakes from M&S. Again, slightly cheaty as I didn’t actually make them – hence no recipe or photo here – it wouldn’t be right., They are delicious though so I’d thoroughly recommend them.
The second two courses I did make – the tempura vegetables here and then a beef stir-fry which I shall detail next.
You can tempura whatever vegetables you like, pretty much. I opted for some thick slices of red pepper, some heads of tenderstem broccoli, some sugarsnap peas, and a couple of bits of asparagus. Make as much or as little as you like, depending upon how hungry you are!
Red pepper, deseeded and thickly sliced
A handful of sugarsnap peas
A handful of tenderstem broccoli heads
Some asparagus spears, with the woody bits snapped off
85g of plain flour
1 tablespoon of cornflour
½ a teaspoon of sea salt
200ml of ice cold sparkling mineral water or soda water
500ml of vegetable oil
Mix the sea salt, flour and cornflour together in a large bowl and whisk in the sparkling water, until you have a thickish, smooth batter which will coat your finger when dipped in.
Heat the vegetable oil in a medium sized saucepan until a drop of batter dropped in the hot oil puffs up and starts to turn golden.
Dip each piece of veg in the batter and then pop it in the hot oil until the batter turns golden and the veg is cooked but still crisp. The dipping of the veg is a messy business and the batter will get everywhere so make sure that you have kitchen roll to hand. You’ll probably need to cook the veg in batches until it is all done. You may need to use a slotted metal spoon to make sure that the pieces don’t stick together or to the bottom of the pan.
Once the veg is all cooked, drain on kitchen paper and serve with a sweet chilli dipping sauce