Perfect Tempura Everytime

Tempura

Tempura is Touchy!

Lets nail down the issues most people have with making Tempura, starting with buying it in a box.  For the most part, you’re just buying a box of flour with a fancy picture on the front that shows you how good it could look if you buy their product.  But does that make sense?  You’ve got flour at home in your kitchen, right?  Oh, maybe you need the directions on the back of the box.  Wait, that doesn’t make sense either because you’ve got the web at your finger tips.  You can just look it up.  So here we are, you and I, and we’re going to get through this together.

Tempura

Tempura in a Box

Soda Water or Club SodaThe truth is that no matter what the contents of that Tempura box are, flour, corn starch or whatever, the box directions are WRONG!  Sure they give you a few pointers from step 1 to 3 but they don’t talk about a few key issues you will have if you don’t mix it in the right order, if you just use regular tap water or if you don’t keep your batter ice cold.  That’s right.  If you ignore any one of these 3 things, your Tempura is not going to turn out right.

Tempura Ingredients:

1 egg yoke
1 cup Tonic or Seltzer Water, Carbanated is the key
1 cup Flour

  • Mix the ingredients in a bowl over the top of another bowl full of ice water
  • Stir the liquids first, then add the flour and don’t over mix; leave it lumpy
  • Use ice cold Tonic or Seltzer water, not Tap, to get the batter to poof up

Watch the video tutorial and follow these simple instructions and you will have perfect Tempura, every single time.

Japanese Cold Cucumber

IMG_0271A Cold Cucumber is Hot!

There really isn’t a lot to be said about making a Cold Cucumber.  It’s simple.  I have yet to find anyone that doesn’t think it’s refreshing.  It’s normally an appetizer or side dish but I often find myself eating an entire bowl of this recipe for lunch.  So that being said, if you don’t already know about this recipe, I will be imparting it to you here today.

 

 

Cold Cucumber Ingredients are:

1 Japanese or Mexican Cucumber
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sesame seeds

Partially peel Cucumber into stripes.  Cut in half and in half again if your cold cucumber is large.  Slice bite size pieces on a 45 degree angle and toss in a bowl with all the ingredients.  Serve your cold cucumber immediately, and enjoy!

Cooking King Crab Legs

King Crab Legs

The Best King Crab Legs

The thing about King Crab Legs, or any crab legs for that matter, is that they are already cooked when you buy them.  I know, Shocker, right?  So all we need to do is reheat them and you just need to choose the method you’d like to prepare them.  Steaming is an easy way if you have a big enough pot that can be covered with a lid.  A few inches of boiling water in the bottom will get them done in about 4 minutes.  Just make sure that you get the water to a rolling boil before you actually add the King Crab Legs.  Most people don’t realize that you can actually cheat and take it a step further; you can usually have them steamed at the place of purchase when you are buying them.  Of course this means you need to be picking them up at meal time but if you’re waiting on the oven for bake potatoes, a quick trip to the grocery is perfect for that waiting time; just a suggestion.

King Crab Legs

Be Careful Grilling King Crab Legs

Grilling King Crab Legs leaves people oohing and awing every time you flip open the lid, but you need to be very careful not to dry them out.  Even though you tend to gain the Smokey flavor of the grill, you lose the natural flavors of the crab meat.  Remember this is just a reheat anyway so you don’t want them on the grill for too long.  10 minutes on low with the lid down, tops!

The oven will have a similar effect that grilling does if you don’t cover up the Crab Legs.  It will dry them out, and you will lose flavor.  The way I show you how to cook them in this tutorial is on a broiler pan covered with tin foil.  The reason I do it this way is because you get the best of both worlds.  By adding a half cup of water to the pan you get the steaming effect with convection as the heat rises from underneath the King Crab Legs, then the heat reflects off the foil, cooking the top.  It’s win-win.

You can do a reheat in the microwave, but I don’t recommend it.  In fact I don’t recommend that any meat go in the microwave for a reheat, EVER!  I’ll get into that at later time.

King Crab Legs and Santolla Reds

Now, the crab legs that I’m introducing are not your traditional King Crab Legs.  These are called Santolla Reds.  The reason I’m using these instead of the other is they are practically the same thing.  First off, they are almost exactly the same size; same look and everything that way.  The only difference that I’ve noticed is they are a little bit saltier, so I just use unsalted butter.  Second, it’s about the cost.  I wouldn’t be living up to my reputation as the Poor Man’s Gourmet Kitchen showing you recipes at “A Low Budget Wonder”, if I was showing off recipes that aren’t affordable.  Santolla Reds, if you can find them, are usually at least half the price of regular King Crab Legs.  I can pick them up at Smith’s right now, for $6.99 a pound, and that’s year ‘round!  Try getting more than a pound and a half of king crab legs at any restaurant these days for under $26 bucks!  It’s worth doing it at home, and worth knowing a few tricks to cooking King Crab Legs and other gourmet meals at a low budget wonder.