Spring Asparagus Tempura

½ Lb. Asparagus- tough end trimmed off
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
½ Cup Cornstarch
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 Cup Cold Water
1 Egg
2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
½ Cup All Purpose Flour
As Needed Vegetable Oil for Frying
To Taste Salt and Black Pepper

Bring a small pot of salted water to a rapid boil over as high a heat you can get, and add just a small handful of asparagus at a time so as to maintain the water boiling. Let boil for as little as 10 seconds or up to 1 minute depending on the size of the asparagus. The asparagus should be cooked on the exterior with a crunch and firmness at the center. Shock the asparagus in a bowl of ice and water to stop the cooking. Repeat with the remaining asparagus. When the asparagus is cold, drain all the ice water and pat the asparagus dry with a paper towel. Reserve.

Sift together into a bowl the first measure of flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the water, egg, and vegetable oil. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients, whisk until smooth. The batter should be a little thinner than pancake batter. If too thick, add more water, if too thin, add more flour. Reserve.

Heat a deep fryer with vegetable oil  to 350ºf. Dredge the asparagus in the second measure of flour, shake off the excess,  and then dip into the batter. Let excess batter drip off and carefully place in the fryer. Fry only 4 spears of asparagus at a time until a very light golden color. Drain on paper towels and season with salt and pepper if desired. Great served with Thai sweet chile sauce, soy sauce, ponzu sauce ,ranch dressing or Hollandaise sauce. Enjoy!

Lincoln Culinary Institute’s Website: www.lincolnculinary.com

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