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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Coconut Tempura

Tempura is a very common thing and I'm sure many of you have eaten it umpteen different times, but this batter is different to the traditional. The coconut milk gives it a subtle sweetness, rather than a hit of heavy flavour, and when paired with fresh white fish and green vegetables it's  both light and incredibly moreish at once. 

Ingredients to serve 2: 

100g of plain flour - If you're making this recipe GF swap this for a GF white flour mix; don't use extra cornflour instead as the coconut milk needs something heavier to carry it. 
100g of cornflour
6 tbsps of coconut milk
200ml of sparkling mineral water, cold
1 large pinch of sea salt
Vegetable oil for frying

You can use the batter with any white fish and vegetables but I used: 

1 lemon sole fillet, deboned and cut into 2cm-wide strips
1 sea bass fillet, deboned and cut into 2cm-wide strips
3 baby courgettes, halved
1 small aubergine, cut into 1cm slices
6 tenderstems of broccoli

Firstly heat the oil to 190c; using a deep-fat fryer is safest but you can use a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan if you don't have one, just be careful.

For the batter sift the plain flour into a large glass bowl, add the cornflour and mix together. Then add the coconut milk and salt and stir into the flour; this'll make a bit of a dry, lumpy mess but don't worry. Next whisk in the water bit by bit, until the batter is smooth and has the consistency of double cream. You may not need all the water, hence adding it gradually to get the best consistency. 

When the oil is at temperature start dipping the fish and vegetables into the batter, covering the pieces completely. Add the pieces in batches of 4-6 so that they don't stick together. Gently drop the pieces into the oil rather than placing them into the basket, as the pieces will stick to the basket, but remember to be careful as the oil is super-hot! The fish and vegetables that I used will all take 3-4 minutes to cook; thicker pieces of fish or denser vegetables will take longer. 

When the tempura is cooked serve hot accompanied with either a soy or vinegar dip. 

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